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Gor To Defend SportPesa Super Cup Crown In Kenya

Gor Mahia lift the 2017 SportPesa Super Cup in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. PHOTO/File
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NAIROBI, Kenya- Gor Mahia FC will defend their SportPesa Super Cup crown on home soil when the second edition of the regional football club tournament is hosted in Nairobi from June 3 to 10.

The eight-team invitational tournament will see the winner travel to England next month to take on English Premier League side, Everton FC featured four teams from Kenya, three from Tanzania mainland and one from Zanzibar, organisers announced on Thursday at a press conference in Nairobi.

Besides the chance to take on the Tofees at Goodison Park in what would make history for the team that trumps them all, the 2018 Super Cup champions will also take home USD30,000 (KSh3m) in token prize money.

“The tournament’s goal is to bring about enhanced cohesion within the region as well as showcase only the greatest in East African football talent.

“We have selected the best of the best to take part in the tournament, based on our regional partnerships as well as on sporting merit,” organisers and gaming firm SportPesa Chief Marketing Officer, Kelvin Twissa stated during the launch in Nairobi.

AFC Leopards SC who lost the 2017 title to arch enemies in a 3-0 thumping in the final played at Uhuru Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam on June 5, Kariobangi Sharks FC and Kakamega Homeboyz FC are the other sides that will vie in the Kenyan corner.

Yanga's Edward Mwakalukwa in action during their SportPesa Super Cup clash against Tusker FC at the Uhuru Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam on Monday, June 5, 2017

Yanga’s Edward Mwakalukwa in action during their SportPesa Super Cup clash against Tusker FC at the Uhuru Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam on Monday, June 5, 2017

Tanzanian giants, Yanga SC and Simba SC will be joined by compatriots Singida United FC with Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) from Zanzibar completing the roster.

Losing finalists

Losing finalists with pocket USD10,000 (KSh1m) and third finishers USD7,500 (KSh750,000) while the fourth placed side taking home USD5,000 (KSh500,000).

The four beaten quarterfinalists in the knock-out tourney will receive USD2,500 (KSh250,000) each.

“As a club we are honoured to be invited to take part yet again in the SportPesa Super Cup this year. As the defending champions of the title, we will certainly be putting our best foot forward to retain the title.

“We urge all the other teams to do the same to ensure the level of competition remains high,” Gor chairman, Ambrose Rachier underscored.

All the Super Cup matches will be played at the refurbished Moi International Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi.

The winner of the inaugural edition Gor got a chance to play Everton at the 60,000-seater National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam on Jul. 13, 2017 where the Kenyans went down 1-2 in what was English coach Dylan Kerr’s first match in charge.

Gor will relish the chance to atone for losing to Everton then under the management of Dutch boss, Ronald Koeman having played another English side, Hull City FC on Sunday in Nairobi.

Leopards revenge

Dar Yanga SC captain Nadir Haoub (left) and his AFC Leopards SC counterpart, Bernard Mang’oli (2 R) gather for the coin toss ahead of their penalty shootout during their SportPesa Super Cup semi final on June 8, 2017. PHOTO/AFP

Bitter rivals Leopards also have revenge on the menu after K’Ogalo denied them the opportunity to play Everton last year and Hull recently when the SportPesa Premier League winners edged them on post-match penalties in the Mashemeji Derby dubbed #HullCityChallenge on Labour Day in Nakuru.

For record Tanzania league winners, Simba and their old enemies Yanga, the 2018 Super Cup offers them the chance to redeem their reputation after the former were stunned by Kenyan first division side Nakuru AllStars in the quarters with the latter being knocked out in the semis by Leopards.

Sharks, Homeboyz and JKU will be seeking memorable Super Cup debuts and chasing the dream of being the first East African team to play a Premier League team since the English top flight was remodeled in 1992.

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