Caf Champions League 2018
Township Rollers 1 – 0 KCCA FC
Botswana National Stadium, Garborone
KCCA FC’s continental away woes continued as they fell 1-0 at the hands of Township Rollers in the CAF Champions League Group A opener.
The Uganda Premier League two time defending champions lost to a Lemponye Tshireletso first half strike in a game that saw KCCA miss a host of chances.
It all started as a cagey affair as both sides sat deep in the opening minutes until Segolame Boy swung in a corner that was headed just wide of the target by Moshe Gaolaolwe after five minutes.
Lemponye Tshireletso had a chance to put the hosts ahead on 14 minutes but shot straight at Tom Ikara in the KCCA goal after the lively striker had danced his way through the Kasasiro Boys’ backline.
Two minutes later, KCCA finally crafted an opportunity for them selves but Mustapha Kiiza’s powerful 35 yard free-kick just sailed over the bar.
Moments later, Kiiza delivered a corner that fell onto the head of Jackson Nunda but the lanky midfielder headed wide of the target.
KCCA FC seemed to be troubling the host’s from set plays as captain Timothy Awanyi failed to hit the target with a header on 20 minutes from another Kiiza corner.
Star player Allan Okello almost got KCCA in trouble on 30 minutes when he attempted a back pass from the half way line, which was not dealt with convincingly by Ikara as the goalkeeper struck his clearance off Tshireletso but Filbert Obenchan was there to clean up the mess as the defender put the ball out of touch for a corner.
Striker Shaban Muhammad who had been silent since kick off, controlled a long ball from Lawrence Bukenya moments later and teed up Nunda but the midfielder missed the target narrowly with his shot from just outside the box.
KCCA’s resilience was finally broken on 35 minutes when Tshireletso lashed onto a through ball by Joel Mogorosi and the striker rounded Ikara before slotting into an empty net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Mogorosi should have made it 2-0 two minutes later but just saw his rebound miss the target after Ikara had pureed Tsethesololo long range shot.
KCCA were guilty of several defensive errors and with four minutes to the break, Paul Musamali lost possession near his penalty box but was relieved to see Tsethesololo’s shot sail over the bar while one on one with Ikara.
At the beginning of the second half, KCCA took over the initiative and should have scored two minutes after the restart but Obenchan’s shot rattled the underside of the net before a sea of legs blocked his rebound out for a corner.
Just after the hour mark, it was Tshireletso turn to hit the wood work with a fierce shot from outside the area after beating two KCCA players.
KCCA controlled possession there after but failed to create meaningful opportunities until substitute Derrick Nsibambi was brought down just outside the box. Kiiza step up to take the resulting free-kick but his effort was tipped over the bar by 22 year old Keagile Kgospile in the Rollers goal.
Deep into additional time, KCCA got one final opportunity to grab the equalizer but Nsibambi headed straight at Kgospile from five yards when he met Kiiza’s cross from the left while unmarked in the area.
KCCA FC have now lost all four of their away matches in the group stages of CAF competitions including three from the Confederations Cup last season.
Township Rollers moved to the top of Group A with three points while KCCA who host Al Ahly next are rooted at the bottom after one the game played.
The other Group A game between record CAF Champions League winners Al Ahly of Egypt and Tunisian side ES Tunis ended goalless.
KCCA starting IX.
Tom Ikara (GK), Timothey Awanyi (c), Filbert Obenchan, Paul Musamali, Lawrence Bukenya, Isaac Kirabira, Julius Poloto, Mustapha Kiiza, Jackson Nunda, Allan Okello, Muhammad Shaban.