For the first time since 2008, Express FC will play continental football as they are set to represent Uganda in the 2021/22 Caf Champions League.
Then playing in the Caf Confederation Cup, the Red Eagles were eliminated at the first round by DR Congo’s AS Vita on penalties after drawing goalless over two legs.
In the preliminary round, Express FC edged Burundi’s AS Inter Star 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 aggregate tie as either side won 1-0 at their own home.
Caf Champions League
Meanwhile, the last time Express FC played in the Caf Champions League was in 1997; the year the competition was modified.
Then, Young Africans of Tanzania were the Red Eagles’ opponents at the preliminary round and the Ugandan side won 1-0 away in Dar es Salaam after a goalless draw in Kampala.
In the first round, Express drew Caps United of Zimbabwe who beat the Ugandan side 7-6 on aggregate.
In Harare, Express FC lost 5-2 but gave a good account of themselves in the return leg falling short by just one goal – winning 4-2.
Maiden CAF CL appearance
The 7-time league champions first represented Uganda in the Caf CL in 1975.
In the first round, they eliminated Horseed FC of Somalia 1-0 on aggregate but fell to Egypt’s Ghazl El Mahalla 2-1 on aggregate – losing 1-0 away in Egypt and drawing 1-1 at home.
Best run in the CAF CL; 1995
Express FC’s best performance on the continent came in 1995 when they went as far as semi-finals falling to eventual winners Orlando Pirates.
In the first round, Force De Nationale Securite of Djibouti faced the Red Eagles’ wrath as they were hammered 9-0 on aggregate.
In the second round, Express beat Cameroon’s Aigle Nkongsamba 3-1 on aggregate – winning 3-0 in Kampala in losing 1-0 in Cameroon.
At the quarter final stage, they edge Dynamos of Zimbabwe on away goals rule after winning 1-0 in Kampala and falling 2-1 away in Harare.
Orlando Pirates were the semi-final opponents at the semi-final stage and they beat Express FC 2-1 on aggregate.
In South Africa, they lost 1-0 but failed to hold on to a 1-0 lead at Nakivubo drawing 1-1 with a blunder from goalie Abu Kigenyi.
In total, Express FC have featured in the Caf Champions League 7 times – one as the CAF CL (1997) and six when the tournament was still referred to as the African Cup of Champions Club (1975, 1976, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995 and 1996).
However, the Wankulukuku based side were disqualified from the 1994 edition as they prepared to face Zamalek who went all the way to the finals.
CAF Confederation Cup
The Red Eagles have played in the Confederation Cup 9 times but only twice in the current format (2004 and 2008), 2 as CAF Cup (1999 and 2003) and 5 as the African Cup Winners Cup (1986, 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2002).
The Caf Confederation Cup was founded as the merger between the Caf Cup and the African Cup Winners Cup in 2004.