CAF Champions League 2018
Township Rollers vs KCCA FC
Botswana National Stadium, Gaborone
Friday, 04-04-2018 @10:00pm
Referee: Ferdinand Udoh Anietie (Nigeria).
KCCA FC will take on Botwsana’s Township Rollers on Friday in their Group A opening match of the CAF Champions League at the Botswana National Stadium.
The Kasasiro Boys go into the fixture having won only one game away from home since 2009 in the Champions League (D4 L5).
They go into the game without first choice goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who is suspended after accumulation of yellow cards during qualification. Second choice Tom Ikara is expected to make his debut having been in goal for the last league game away to Express FC.
KCCA will also be without the injured duo of midfielders Muzamir Mutyaba and Ibrahim Saddam Juma who are both out inured and did not travel with the team.
What the coaches are saying:
Mike Mutebi, KCCA FC.
“We are excited that we are going to play with the best teams in Africa.
“We started this project a few years ago with boys from our academy and am glad to say that KCCA is the only team in the world that has promoted 11 players from their youth structure to the first team since Barcelona in 2008.
“The fact that these are the same boys who took part last year relieves them of the unnecessary pressure going into the first game with of the Groups with Township Rollers.
“They (Township Rollers) are a good attacking side which loves to score goals home and away and that plays into our favor because we are also set up like them and hate to play teams which just defend from the onset.
About former KCCA FC midfielder Ivan Ntege who was sold by the Kasasiro Boys to Township Rollers at the start of this season, Mutebi had this to say.
“They (Township Rollers) have one of my former boys, Ivan (Ntege) who knows a lot about us which makes it more interesting.
“He is well educated in terms of our football and the style we play but i have the right players to give him a hard time.
Nikola Kavazovic, Township Rollers.
“This is our first game in the CAF Champions’ League Group stages but we know we have extremely good players with a lot of quality.
“We are taking on a good side that had a wonderful experience last season but we are not intimidated by them.
“I watched them against Mamelodi Sundowns last time out and i was impressed and also felt sorry for them when they bowed out.
“Looking at their team, it is almost the same players that played last year implying that they are more exposed and experienced than us.
“It is going to be a tough game for both sides and i think it will be decided by the smallest of details say a simple mistake and that is why i also don’t think we will see many goals.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.
The Botswana Super League defending champions currently lead the standing domestically on 60 points, two ahead of second placed Galaxy with both teams having played the same number of games (28).
Township Rollers have lost only one of their last five Champions league games (W3 D1). The loss came away to Al Merrick of Sudan in the preliminary qualifying round.
The Blues have lost only one home game in the competition before (W2 D1), losing 1-0 against Kaizer Chiefs in 2015.
For KCCA, they seat third on the log in the domestic league, four points behind leaders Vipers SC with four games to play.
The Kasasiro Boys have won only two of their last six games in the CAF Champions league (D2 L3).
Their record on the road is sore, having won only one of their last 10 games away from home (D4 L5). The win dates back to Feburary 2014 when they defeated Sudnease side Al Merrikh 2-0.
Last season, KCCA participated in the CAF Confederations cup group stages where they managed nine points in their six games, winning all their matches at home but also lost the three on the road.
The Other Group A game Al Ahly and ES Tunis will also be played on Friday.