CAF Champions league first round return leg
KCCA vs St. George
StarTimes stadium, Lugogo
Ahead of the crucial return leg against KCCA in the CAF Champions league first round, St. George head coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto is optimistic that his side can still go through despite the first leg result.
The two teams will meet today at Lugogo for the reverse fixture after the first leg ended goalless in Addis Ababa just over a week ago.
“It is going to be a very difficult game today against KCCA FC, St. George coach Vaz Pinto noted while speaking to the media.
“It is not only difficult for us but also to KCCA because these are two very good teams with a lot of good players.
“In these types of games, there are always two goals and i keep on telling it to my players.
“The first one is to win and the second is not to concede goals and we managed the later in Addis Ababa but we also have to achieve both here in Kampala.
Asked about the importance of qualification to St. George, Pinto had this to say.
“Qualification is always important to everyone, from the clubs, coaches, countries and to the players too.
“Last season it was very important that St. George made it to the group stages and it is the same case today.
About St. George holding slight advantage over KCCA in terms of pedigree, the Portuguese said,
“Tomorrow (Saturday) is one game, one different history so i don’t think we hold any advantage because of our past.
“When you look at the past few weeks, history has not helped many team.
“Take an example of the UEFA champions league and look at the Manchester United/Sevilla game, if it was all about history, the English side would have gone through.
The Portuguese manager is not new to qualification into the group stages on the African continent as he led Angolan side, Clube Recreative Desportivo do Libolo who finished third in the Confederations Cup, in a group that consisted of eventual finalist TP Mazembe and Sudanese power house Al Hilal Obeid.
Pinto replaced Dutchman Mart Nooji last year after the later suffered a stroke during a regular training session.
He has had a difficult first season in the Ethiopian Premier league as his St. George side are in fourth place on the log, six points behind leaders Dedebit with 15 of the 30 games played so far.
Pinto will have all to do to try and win St. George their fifth league tittle in a row and their 30th overall but all that will come to thought later as KCCA FC stand in their way as a stumbling block to their second ever appearance in the CAF Champions league group stages.