KCCA players celebrate victory against St George Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • CAF Champions League (Final Round, Return Leg)
  • KCCA (Uganda) 1-0 St George (Ethiopia)
  • *KCCA Qualifies for group stages 1-0 on aggregate
[/media-credit] KCCA players celebrate victory against St George Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The Jinx is no more!

KCCA Football Club has become the first Ugandan side to qualify for the group stage of the lucrative CAF Champions League, a feat that comes with a bare minimum of $55o,000.

The development followed a hard fought 1-0 victory on astro turf KCCA stadium in Lugogo played under sunny conditions.

Live wire Muhammad Shaban headed home the lone strike of the game in the 46th minute of the well-attended game.

Shaban was well positioned to power home a glancing header off a teasing ball by Mustapha Kizza who curled the ball after a quickly taken corner by Muzamiru Mutyaba.

Before the goal, it had been a balanced affair with each side playing a cautious game.

The visitors started with towering center forward Amara Malle as the lone striker. Malle did not trouble the three man defence line of Timothy Awany, Denis Okot and Habibu Kavuma.

Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Robert Odongkara recovered swiftly after a knock by Shaban in the early stages of the game.

[/media-credit] Robert Odongkara Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Malle shot with his weaker left foot after 10 minutes and missed target by inches.

The next minute, St George right back Abdoulkerim nearly scored against himself with a miskicked clearance.

Mutyaba shot on target on the quarter hour mark but it was a routine collection from Odongkara.

Assefa tested Lukwago from distance after 21 minutes before Msefen Bolado was cautioned, the first player to be booked by Kenyan referee Andrew Juma Othieno.

Derrick Nsibambi also got cautioned after 32 minutes following a wild lunge on Salahdin Bargicho.

[/media-credit] Derrick Nsibambi Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Habibu Kavuma and Tamene shot wide of the respective goal as the opening 45 minutes failed to produce any goal.

As the second half started, the stadium terraces were lit by Shaban’s glancing header, the only goal on the evening after Mutyaba’s quickly taken short corner was delivered into the area by Kizza before Shaban met the ball before the rest of the defenders and goalkeeper Odongkara.

[/media-credit] Muhammad Shaban Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Assefa replied with a quick counter but Lukwago was quicker to react off the goal line.

Ten minutes into the second half, Shaban had wonder step overs before crossing for Paul Mucureezi who volleyed high of the goal posts as the crowd became lively and more energetic.

Odongkara was well positioned to save off Nsibambi’s left footed shot on 58 minutes as the home side pressed for a killer.

KCCA called for the first change of the day when Allan Okello, who looked a pedestrian for long spells of the game paved way for Julius Poloton who provided width on the right flank and ignited pace to the KCCA side.

Tamene was cautioned for malicious foul on Mutyaba with 18 minutes left on the clock.

Inside the final quarter, midfielder Gadisa Meberate Baleme replaced winger Behailu Assefa as the visitors sought for the equalizer.

Veteran forward Adane Girma then replaced the weary legs of Adane Mentsenot Umema barely 10 minutes to the game dawn.

KCCA’s other change witnessed Solomon Okwalinga on for the industrious Mucureezi on 85 minutes.

The Ugandans absorbed the pressure from the free passing Ethiopians who lacked a killer punch upfront.

The home goalie Lukwago got booked inside the three added minutes.

The final whistle by FIFA Referee Otieno was treated with wild cheers from the passionate home fans as the Kasasiro lads qualified 1-0 on aggregate since the first leg in Addis Ababa ended goal-less.

KCCA thus becomes the first Ugandan club to make the CAF Champions League group stage grade.

The Group stage draw is on 21st March  2018 in Cairo, Egypt.

Team Line ups:

KCCA XI: Charles Lukwago (G.K), Dennis Okot Oola, Habibu Kavuma, Timothy Dennis Awany (Captain), Isaac Kirabira, Paul Mucureezi (85′ Solomon Okwalinga), Muzamiru Mutyaba, Allan Okello (66′ Julius Poloto), Mustapha Kizza, Muhammed Shaban (90′ Patrick Kaddu), Derrick Nsibambi

Subs Not Used: Jamil Maliyamungu (G.K), Fillbert Obenchan, Lawrence Bukenya, Hassan Musana

St George XI: Robert Odongkara (G.K), Butako Bune, Mohammed Abdoulkerim, Tamene Aschalew, Salahadin Bargicho, Bahailu Assefa (76′ Gadisa Meberate Baleme), Adane Umema Mentsenot, Captain (82′ Adane Girma), Mesfen Bolado, Abdoul Zoko, Amara Malle, Sani Abdela

Subs Not Used: Aynekulu Lealm Birhanu (G.K), Degu Debebe, Tadle Mengesha Mergiya, Frezer Kasa

Match Officials:

  • Center Referee: Andrew Juma Othieno (Kenya)
  • 1st Assistant Referee: Tony Kidiya (Kenya)
  • 2nd Assistant Referee: Stephen Yiembe (Kenya)
  • Fourth Official: Peter Waweru (Kenya)
  • Commissioner: Amir Abdi Hassan (Somalia)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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