July 31, 2021

Caf Confederation Cup: Mayuka, Mwape missing as Napsa Stars travel for Gor Mahia showdown

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The Kenyan giants will welcome their rivals from Lusaka as the continental games are set to resume over the weekend

Zambian side Napsa Stars have named the travelling squad that will face Kenya’s Gor Mahia in the first leg of the Caf Confederation pre-group stage tie on Sunday.

The Pensioners will entertain the Green Army in Nairobi without key players Bornwell Mwape and Emmanuel Mayuka. The club has not given an update why the duo is missing from their Nairobi-bound squad.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji and defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino have been named and are in contention to face their former Premier League side. Timothy Otieno would have been the third player to face his former had he remained with the Zambian outfit.

After a short period with Napsa Stars, Odhiambo – who had joined from Tusker before the season began – returned and signed for Sofapaka in February.

Odhoji, in an earlier interview, had warned his teammates not to underrate K’Ogalo by looking at the previous games.

“Gor Mahia have been struggling in their last few games, but we should not rely on that when playing against them,” Odhioji said.

“For my teammates, we have to fight as we have been doing in past Caf competitions. Napsa are a strong team, and I am optimistic of getting a positive outcome away.

“Gor Mahia have been regulars in Caf and they have that experience. But in modern football, there is nothing like a powerhouse or big team. As Napsa Stars, I think with adequate preparations we will do something and advance to the group stage. 

“The more we play stronger teams, we become strong as well; actually we are a very strong team.”

Calabar – who joined Napsa Stars after leaving rivals Zesco United – echoed Odhoji’s sentiments on the strength of Gor Mahia.

“As Napsa we have to go with a very strong mentality because Gor Mahia are not a pushover,” Odhiambo stated. “Though they are struggling financially, they are very experienced in continental competitions. 

“Most of their players are in the national team and are experienced when it comes to these competitions. They will want to score first and show they are better than us.

“So, it will be difficult but my teammates have to be mentally strong, fight for each other and try as much as possible to come out with something positive.”

Gor Mahia dropped to the Confederation Cup after defeat to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in the Champions League qualifying round while Napsa Stars advanced after seeing off UD Songo of Mozambique.

Napsa Stars travelling squad:

Goalkeepers: Phillip Banda, Shaban Odhoji, Rabson Muchelenganga,

Defenders: David Odhiambo, Luka Banda, Luka Nguni, Aaron Kabwe, Lawrence Chungu, Bornwell Silengo, Amos Simwanza,

Midfielders: Jacob Ngulube, Daniel Adoko, Dickson Chapa, Simon Nhkata, Enock Sabumukama, Austine Banda, Aaron Banda.

Strikers: Chanda Mushili, Laudit Mavugo, Jimmy Mukeya, Doiy Soko, Tapon Kaseba.