Precision timing, superb game reading and ultra confidence are all absolute requisites for young pretenders hoping to develop into all conquering sweeper goalkeepers.
All aforesaid qualities were absent as Kampala Capital City Authority FC custodian Charles Lukwago was sent off in his team’s 0-1 capitulation to Tunisian hard hitters Esperance in a Caf Champions League tie played Saturday afternoon at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
Jangled nerves had played a role in Lukwago conceding an 81st minute Bilel Mejri winner at Rades Stadium ten days ago, and they were apparent in a low brow performance that culminated in his late dismissal.
Long before Haythem Jouini’s 42nd minute opener, the man between KCCA’s sticks had struggled to cope with clearing throbbing through balls behind the Ugandan side’s bedraggled back three.
Further evidence that Lukwago was perhaps under pressure to emulate his game changing heroics in the 2-0 victory over Al Ahly on match day two came at the start of the second half when Ghaylen Chaaleli sent him scrambling to make a desperate save from his long range looping shot.
In the light of his hesitant displays over the two games, Lukwago ought to be reminded to get back to basic good old fashioned, fuss-less custodianship.
KCCA coach Mike Mutebi needs to take new recruit Bernard Muwanga through a crash course in playing a high line with a back three as he was at sea throughout the ninety minutes.
For all his experience, the Cranes defender failed to get to grips with goal scorer Jouini as he preyed on space between him and youthful right wing back Julius Poloto.
Esperance’s victory proved that there is no such thing as player clones.
However similar players might be, there is always a drop in output levels if a team is denied the services if several starters.
And so was the case Saturday, as the Uganda Cup winners failed to find their rhythm following the enforced absence of injured pair Jackson Nunda and Gift Ali, as well as centre forward Shaban Mohammed, currently on trial at South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.
Promoted to lead the line following departure of three KCCA number 9s over the last twelve months, Patrick Kaddu showed plenty of promise.
Like predecessors Derrick Nsibambi, Mohammed and Geoffrey Sserunkuma he has a good leap and compensates his lack of physical prowess by hyperactivity.
Kaddu did not have the telepathic understanding with KCCA’s brightest star on the day Allan Okello, that we saw in Tunis between Nunda, Ali, Okello and Mohammed.
But he was involved in KCCA’s most eye catching move as a one touch move involving him Okello and Saddam Juma curved open Esperance, only for the latter to hit the upright.
The 0-1 final score represents KCCA’s first home loss in a continental fixture in eleven outings.
Defeat leaves the Kasasiros rooted to the bottom of Group A ahead of a home fixture against Botswana’s Township Rollers and an away game at Al Ahly.
Esperance assume pole position with 10 points with two group games to go.
Line Ups: KCCA; Charles Lukwago, Bernard Muwanga, Hassan Musana, Timothy Awany, Julius Poloto, Mustapha Kizza, Saddam Juma (Tom Ikara), Isaac Kirabira, Muzamir Mutyaba (Lawrence Bukenya), Allan Okello, Patrick Kaddu (Filbert Obenchan).
Moez Ben Cherifa, Khelil Chammam, Chamsedine Dhaoudi, Houcine Errabei, Mohammed Meskini, Saad Bguir, Anice Badri, Fousseyne Coulibaly, Ghaylen, Chaleli, Haythem Jouini, Bilel Mejri.