Orange Caf Champions league first round 1st leg
Nkana Red Devils Vs KCC FC – Arthur Davies Stadium, Kitwe
Saturday March 1, 2014

When KCC FC last played Nkana Red Devils in Caf Champions league in 1992, most of the current members of the Ugandan side were too young while one or two were not born yet. Even then, the events of 1992 are still fresh in the memories of some players who hope they can do what their predecessors then failed to maneuver when they lost 6-0 to Nkana on aggregate to bow out of Africa’s most elite club competition.

Coincidentally, KCC FC tactician George Nsimbe was part of that Lugogo based side that swallowed four and two goals home and away respectively. The rivalry is set to be renewed this Saturday March 1 when the two sides meet in the first leg of the first round stage of the Orange Caf Champions leg at the Arthur Davies stadium in Kitwe.

Nkana Red Devils has never lost to any Ugandan side but Nsimbe believes sometimes history in football doesn’t count and insists his side is only focused on this game not the previous.

“We are not fazed by history,” Nsimbe told Kawowo Sports a day his charges left for Zambia. “I don’t think that record will have any effect on players and they are determined to change that history. Against all odds, KCC FC stunned Sudan giants El Merriekh with a 0-2 defeat at their own back yard and Nsimbe knows this is the game that laid a base for which they reached this stage despite losing 1-2 at home in the return leg. “The first game whether at home or away is a very important one and this is no different,” he said.

“If you look at the previous stage, we won away but lost at home so we have to take the first game seriously.”

Going into this game, Nsimbe is likely to make a few changes from the sides that featured against El Merriekh with Brian Majwega (came off the bench in both games), Michael Birungi (featured only as a substitute in the return leg) and Hakim Senkumba likely to be reinstated in the starting eleven.

The trio featured in KCC FC’s two most previous victories over CRO (8-1) and Kamwokya United (3-0) and was in superb form netting five out of the eleven goals. This may imply change of tactics from a 4-3-3 the gaffer employed in both legs against El Merriekh to a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 against Nkana.

If both Majwega and Birungi are reinstated into the starting team, either of Herman Wasswa or William Wadri will drop to the bench with the other joining on form Tony Odur in attack. Jamal Salim is expected to maintain his slot in goal with an unchanged back four of Sakka Mpiima, Ayub Kizza, skipper Fahad Kawooya and Habib Kavuma.

Ivan Ntege and Hakim Ssenkumba are expected to play as two anchor men with Majwega and Birungi on the flanks whilst Odur and Wasswa leading the line. KCC FC will still miss the services of playmaker Steven Bengo who also missed the preliminary round games with a thigh injury. On the other hand, Nkana Red Devils eliminators of Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows 5-4 on aggregate will look to Chipolopolo striker Ronald Kampamba, Evans Kangwa and Bruce Musakanya for inspiration.

Kampamba was in superb form against the Swazi side bagging a brace and a hat trick of assists in the 5-2 home victory that sealed passage to this stage.

KCC FC Probable XI:

Jamal Salim (GK), Sakka Mpiima, Ayub Kizza, Fahad Kawooya (c), Habib Kavuma, Ivan Ntege, Hakim Senkumba, Brian Majwega, Michael Birungi, Herman Wasswa and Tony Odur.

DID YOU KNOW?

– Nkana Red Devils has never lost to any Ugandan side boosting of a 100% in six meetings with Ugandan sides.

– KCC FC has lost all its previous meetings with Zambian sides in Caf competitions. Twice against Nkana and Power Dynamos.

– KCC FC has only managed two goals against Zambian sides in their four meetings but has conceded ten in the process.

– KCC FC Coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe was part of the 1992 side that lost 6-0 to Nkana.

– No Ugandan side has ever gone past Zambians in the Caf competitions.

What is your prediction?

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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