Bandari face Sudan’s Shandy in Confederation Cup return match
Sudan has traditionally been a dreary hunting ground for most Kenyan teams and this is a jinx Bandari will be trying to end when they face Al Ahly Shandy in the return match of the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round today.
The setting is Shandy Stadium, some 150 kilometres North East of Sudan capital Khartoum, with Bandari eager to make amends after a dour barren draw in the first leg encounter at Kasarani Stadium.
A peep at the latest chronology of meetings between Sudanese and Kenyan clubs indicates that the former enjoys a better head-to-head record.
This statement is underlined by the fact that in March 2019, Kenya’s Under-23 team, Emerging Stars, were humbled by Sudanese side, Baby Crocodiles, in the 2020 Olympics qualifier.
The first leg in Nairobi ended in a barren draw with the Baby Crocodiles vanquishing the Kenyans 2-0 in the reverse fixture in Khartoum to advance on a 2-0 aggregate.
This is a spell Bandari, under the tutelage of extrovert coach Bernard Mwalala, is out to cast away as they seek to improve their fortunes after being tossed out by Congolese side St Eloi Lupopo in the preliminary stage of the same event three years ago.
Bandari were handed a 1-0 defeat by Gor Mahia in the Super Cup last Sunday before heading to Khartoum although Mwalala downplayed the result.
“There was a great display by my players despite the team losing and I expect them to be sharper in Khartoum. Obviously, it won’t be easy as we shall be playing before vociferous Shandy fans but that cannot stop us from conjuring up a win at their backyard,” said Mwalala, before Bandari took the flight to Khartoum.
“Yes, we can if the players follow my instructions.
“Winning away matches is possible and this is what we want to demonstrate,” he added.
Against Shandy in the first leg match, Bandari fired blanks but they are hoping the likes of attack-oriented Benjamin Mosha, much experienced Wycliff Ochomo and Wiliam Wadri will find the target.
A scoring draw will be enough for Bandari to scrape through to the next round on the strength of away goals which count double, according to CAF rules.