CAF Champions league first round
St. George(Eth) vs KCCA FC(Uga)
Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Abeba
KCCA will today face off with Ethiopian giants St. George in the CAF Champions league first round at the Addis Ababa stadium in Ethiopia.
The two-time league defending champions lost to South African side Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on aggregate at this stage last year to miss out on a spot in the luxurious group stages of the CAF champions league.
KCCA have had some injury issues of late but have been boosted by the return to full fitness of influential midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba and star striker Shaban Muhammad.
“We have trained well and are fully focused on the game,” said KCCA assistant coach Morley Byekwaso.
“It has been hard for us to get wins away from home in the past but we are all convinced we will be able to achieve it today.
“We are lucky that the coaching staff has a fully fit squad of 18 to choose from as no injury issues have affected us ever since we jetted in on Monday morning.
“St. George is a strong side who use the ball so well and always turf at home but we will use our past adventures in this particular competition so as we trouble them as much as possible.
KCCA FC has always had issues away from home on the continental level and it remains to be seen whether they have indeed learnt from their past experiences.
In the Preliminary round, the Kasasiro boys overcame Madagascan side CNaPS Sport on away goals after drawing 2-2 on aggregate after two legs.
For St. George, they are yet to kick a ball in the CAF champions league this season after their fixture with South Sudanese side Wau Salaam was deemed a no contest as their opponents failed to honour either of the two fixtures.
St. George has featured prominently in the CAF champions league but their best performance came last season when they entered into the group stages of the competition. For KCCA FC, this is their fourth appearance in the competition and have never managed to get past this (first) round before.
Both teams have not had a smooth run in their respective domestic leagues with the home side seating fourth in the Ethiopian Super league while KCCA are currently second in the Azam Uganda Premier league.
This will be their first ever match between both of them in the Champions league.
St. George have lost all of their last three champions league games, all coming at the group stages of the competition last year.
KCCA on the other hand, have won only one of their last five in the same competition with that win coming in their last fixture at home to CNaPS Sport in the preliminary round.
St George has been formidable at home in the Champions league, losing only once in the 16 games they have hosted. Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa is the team that won in Ethiopia last year.
KCCA FC have seen themselves win only once in the competition away from home. The victory was away to Sudanese side Al Marreekh Omdurman in February 2014 as Tony Odur and Herman Wasswa where both on target in the 2-0 win.
KCCA FC are in their fourth trial for this particular stage after failing in 1998, 2009 and last year (2017).