Prior to KCCA FC’s CAF Champions League preliminary round tie against Primeiro de Agosto, their coach Mike Mutebi said it was important to keep a clean sheet.
Goalkeeper, Benjamin Ochan heard Mutebi’s plea than any other player as did all he could not to concede, including shutting out teammate Timothy Awany whose header was tipped over the bar.
If keeping a clean sheet was important, then scoring was paramount and veteran striker, Geoffrey Sserunkuma did not need to be told, he just did it!
But before that, there was a shout for a penalty that was never a penalty in the 39th minute of the game.
Joseph Ochaya whipped a diagonal ball for Paul Mucureezi to chase down on the far right. The forward who turned in a shift controlled the ball and faced head-on with D’Agosto’s left back Paulo Masukama.
Brilliant on the afternoon, Mucureezi easily shacked off Masukama and cut in-field. The defender who struggled to cope with Mucureezi’s pace had the trailing hand away from his body.
All the intelligent KCCA FC forward did was to lift the ball a little to Masukana’s trailing hand and the Primeiro man fell for the trap.
Knowing his team was in dire need of a goal, Mucureezi quickly signaled to the referee about the offense Masukana had committed.
Far from the action, Kenyan referee Israel Mpaima Lemayian pointed to the spot while literally sprinting to where the offense had occurred as the assistant referee quickly walked to the edge of the area which was another clear indication of a penalty decision.
Of course there was no way that decision would go down well with Primeiro players. Much as they admitted the offense, there were as clear to the two match officials as the blue sky that Masukana handled the ball outside the area.
After Primeiro players coming all out against the decision to award a penalty and consultation with his assistant, the referee changed the penalty decision and instead awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area.
Joseph Ochaya stepped up to take the free-kick as Primeiro’s goalkeeper Joadquin Cabaca took his time to set up the defensive wall.
Ochaya’s delivery was so poor that Geoffrey Sserunkuma had to look back to be sure the ball had not crossed over to Legends Rugby Grounds.