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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Everton to host Kenyan champions Gor in November    

By Kimathi Kamau  NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- English Premier League side, Everton FC will host Kenyan champions Gor Mahia FC for a friendly match dubbed SportPesa Trophy at Goodison Park on Nov. 6 or 7, organizers announced on Thursday.

Betting firm SportPesa who are the title partners of both clubs said in a statement issued in Nairobi that they arranged the fixture “as part of their efforts to develop local football through leveraging on its international partnerships.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for the players and Kenyan football because it is worth more than anybody could offer money for. I’m very excited. It is an opportunity for Gor Mahia to put Kenya on the global football map by playing one of the most established clubs in the UK,” said British Gor head coach, Dylan Kerr who led Gor to the 2017 domestic league crown.

Gor, who are on the verge of successfully defending their league crown, will therefore become the first Kenyan club to play on English soil and tour Britain.

“Gor players will get a chance to play against the best and sample one of the oldest and best stadiums in the world - Goodison Park.

“Everton is one of the most established clubs in the UK being the only one to play over 100 seasons in the EPL,” SportPesa Africa CEO, captain Ronald Karauri remarked.

“The friendly will be good exposure for the Gor who have given their best to put Kenya on the global and regional map in matters football,” Karauri added.

The record 16-time Kenyan league winners won the ticket to travel to England to lock horns with Everton when they beat Tanzanian crown holders, Simba SC 2-0 on Jun. 10 to retain their SportPesa Super Cup title.

Gor will be seeking to avenge their 2-1 loss to Everton in Tanzania on June 13 last year when they faced-off for the first time after the Kenyan giants won the inaugural Super Cup.

Everton legend Wayne Rooney, who was returning to the club after a successful spell at Manchester United FC, opened the scoring before Jacques Tuyisenge leveled for 1-1 at half time.

Kieran Dowell notched the winner with less than 10 minutes to play in what marked Kerr’s first match as Gor head coach.

On May 13, Gor also played English Championship side Hull City FC at a sold-out Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani that ended in a 4-3 victory on post-match penalties for the Tigers when both sides sweated to a barren draw in regulation time.

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