Gor Mahia wary of dark horse Denmak in FKF Cup Round of 32 clash

©Gor Mahia

FOOTBALL Gor Mahia wary of dark horse Denmak in FKF Cup Round of 32 clash

Festus Chuma 08:00 - 25.02.2024

Gor Mahia are preparing for a challenging FKF Cup match against the Kwale-based lower-tier side, Denmak FC.

Eleven-time FKF Cup champions Gor Mahia are on high alert as they prepare to lock horns with the underdog Denmak FC this Sunday in a crucial round of 32 match-up. 

The clash set against the backdrop of the scenic Ukunda Showgrounds promises not just a footballing spectacle but also a test of mettle and strategy for the seasoned K’Ogalo against the ambitious lower-tier side.

Gor Mahia are not taking their opponents lightly, especially after their unexpected exit in the quarter-finals last year. 

K'Ogalo head coach Jonathan McKinstry expressed his respect for Denmak FC, acknowledging the potential threat they pose as giant killers. 

"The Cup is a crucial competition for us. We aim to advance far in it," McKinstry remarked, emphasizing the importance of the tournament and the preparation his team has undergone to adapt to the challenging conditions they will face at Ukunda. 

Moving their training to Stima Club to acclimate to the pitch conditions similar to those at the showgrounds underscores the team's commitment to overcoming environmental adversities.

The coach also highlighted the harsh weather conditions expected during the game, with temperatures soaring to 38-39 degrees Celsius accompanied by 70% humidity, posing a significant challenge to the players' endurance and game management. 

However, McKinstry remains confident in his squad's abilities, particularly praising the form of players who will be stepping up to seize their opportunity on Sunday.

"Our team has been performing well in the league, and the players are in good form. Some of them, who haven't played much recently, will get their chance this Sunday. They're fully fit, eager to prove themselves, and ready to contribute," he added.

Gor Mahia's cautionary stance is further justified by recent upsets in the tournament, notably the elimination of higher-league team Bandari by lower-tier outfit Bungoma Stars.

"We're looking forward to the game, knowing well the risks of underestimation. The preliminary rounds saw Bandari, a higher-league team, being ousted by a lower-league side, highlighting the potential for upsets if we don't take the competition seriously. But rest assured, we've been diligently preparing all week, and the team is ready to face the challenge head-on," he concluded.

The FKF Cup offers a direct route to the CAF Confederation Cup for the champions, making every match a high-stakes battle. 

Alongside the Gor Mahia vs. Denmak FC fixture, other notable matches include Tusker FC's showdown with Bumbani Stars and defending champions Kakamega Homeboyz's visit to Solian City.

The competition also sees Kenya Police facing Posta Rangers, FC Talanta hosting Bungoma Stars, and several other teams across the country vying for a spot in the round of 16 scheduled for March 30 and 31.

Follow Pulse Sports Kenya WhatsApp Channel for more news.