CAF Champions League (Preliminary Round)
1st Leg: Saturday, November 28, 2020: Vipers Sports Club (Uganda) Vs Al Hilal Omdurman (Sudan)
At St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende (4 PM) – Behind closed doors
Vipers Sports Club returns for the continental duty since 2018 when they faced Algerian opposition CS Constantine.
The Venoms entertain Sudanese opponents Al Hilal Omdurman, home to Uganda Cranes’ goalkeeper Salim Jamal Magoola.
The game will be held on astro-turf of St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende, kicking off by 4 pm behind closed doors because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye looks at the likely key battles in the game.
Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers) Vs Vinny Kombe Bongonga (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Halid Lwaliwa is Vipers’ skipper and he is fresh from this month’s AFCON 2021 qualifiers with the Uganda Cranes against South Sudan.
Lwaliwa scored the lone against South Sudan at the very St Mary’s Stadium moments after coming on as a substitute before he played full time away in Nairobi.
He is expected to carry on the confidence from national team to the club.
His prime task at hand will be to protect the goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora as he man-marks Democratic Republic of Congo’s national Vinny Kombe Bongonga, a hard working forward.
As team captain, Lwaliwa will provide the leadership as well at all times.
Milton Karisa (Vipers) Vs Muhamed Ouattara (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Milton Karisa is one of Vipers Sports Club experienced players.
He has also played for the national team and professionally in the Arab world in Morocco.
His pace and directness when fielded will help the home team drive forward.
Karisa will face Ivorian defender Muhamed Outtara, a solid lad when also reads the game well.
Geofrey Wasswa (Vipers) Vs Waleed Bakhiet (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Forward Waleed Bakhiet is a deadly forward for Al Hilal Omdurman.
Intelligent defender Geofrey Wasswa will be tasked to tame Waleed throughout the entire duration of the game.
This contest will surely hinge the performance of the two clubs in the box.
Abdul Karim Watambala (Vipers) Vs Samuel Mergani (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Like Halid, Vipers’ left footed midfielder Abdul Karim Watambala is also fresh from national team duties with the Uganda Cranes during the AFCON 2021 qualifiers.
Watambala is young and energetic, hardworking and possesses a venomous shot off the left foot.
Samuel Mergani will most likely face off with Watambala and whoever bosses this midfield battle will inspire his respective side to glory.
Ceasar Manzoki Lobi (Vipers) Vs Ali Abu Ishreen (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Democratic Republic of Congo’s forward Ceaser Manzoki Lobi is expected to make his debut for Vipers against Al Hilal Omdurman.
The former AS Vita forward comes along with continental experience and will battle goalkeeper Ali Abu Ishreen among other Al Hilal Omdurman defenders.
Ishreen may be preferred in goal ahead of the Uganda Cranes’ goalie Salim Jamal Magoola.
Manzoki’s desire and urge to impress on the debut will be a big impetus to team Vipers.
Ibrahim Orit (Vipers) Vs Last Jesi (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Like Manzoki, Ibrahim Orit may make his long awaited debut for the Venoms.
Orit’s good usage of the ball, vision and quick change of pace will surely trouble Zimbabwean Last Jesi, a good man-marker, dribbler and shooter of the ball from all distances.
Fabien Mutombora (Vipers) Vs Eid Mugadam (Al Hilal Omdurman)
Vipers’ first choice goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora vies for a clean sheet like the rest of the goalkeepers on duty in any match.
Mutombora is a known good game reader, excellent communicator and good with one against one saves.
Among the key forwards that he ought to keep silent is Eid Mugadam.
Fred Kajoba Kisitu (Vipers) Vs Zoran Manojlovic (Al Hilal)
The other interesting battle will be on the technical wing among the coaches.
In the dug-out at Vipers is Fred Kajoba Kisitu who guided the club to the 2019-20 Uganda Premier League crown amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kajoba’s experience of over a decade with the Uganda Cranes will also be crucial for him as a person.
He comes face to face with Serbian national, Zoran Manojlovic.
The two tacticians will vey for the tactics prior to the match (squad selection) and during the game depending on the tiding of the game.
From the time, the starting eleven is selected to the match proper, will mean a great deal.
Interestingly, both coaches are relatively new on duty and therefore will be mindful of achieving the best desirable results.