CAF Champions League 2018
Esperance 3-2 KCCA FC
Stade Olympic da Rades
Kampala Capital City Authority’s quarter of a century long, arduous wait to win a continental tie in the Arab Maghreb continued Tuesday night when they surrendered a two goal cushion to fall 2-3 to Tunisian giants Esperance.
Quick fire goals from Jackson Nunda who profited from a poorly executed offside trap on 19 minutes, and Mohammed Shaban, who beat Khelil Chammam to a rebound after the hosts’ keeper Moez Ben Cherifa had spilled another Nunda shot, put KCCA in a commanding 2-0 lead just after 21 minutes of action.
KCCA coach Mike Mutebi will be disappointed with the leadership from experienced Cranes pair Bernard Muwanga, only recently recruited from rivals SC Villa and captain Timothy Awany.
All central defenders, including Mustapha Kizza, with whom they were marshalling the back three, were at sixes and sevens as Anice Badri connected home for Esperance following a 30th minute corner kick.
But just as fans of the dethroned Uganda Premier League champions who were watching the game online and on Qatar based TV channel BeIN were warming up to the prospect of a KCCA victory to atone for a 0-6 hiding at the hands of Esperance in the 1997 Caf Confederations Cup semi finals, the North Africans struck.
A sense of de javu soon engulfed KCCA’s traveling contingent as Saad Bguir drew Esperance level just three minutes later for a two-all halftime score.
The Kasasiros had until the breather successfully deployed a 3-6-1 pressing unit to unnerve the two-time African club champions.
However, the Uganda Cup winners fell deeper into their own half during the last stanza to invite Esperance pressure.
A hero of KCCA’s surprise 2-0 victory over African club of the century Al Ahly on match day two, custodian Charles Lukwago was at fault for the North Africans’ winning after he made a timid effort to block Bilel Mejri’s 81st minute shot from a tight angle.
In the other game, record champions Al Ahly registered their first win of the campaign thanks to a 3-0 victory over Botswana side, Township Rollers at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.
Moroccan Walid Azarou gave Al Ahly the lead nine minutes to half time before Ali Maaloul added a second on 75 minutes. Four minutes later, Islam Mohareb sealed the victory with a third off Azarou’s assist.
The victory moves Al Ahly to second on the log with four points from three games. Esperance lead the way on seven points as KCCA FC fall to the bottom of the pile having now lost two of their opening three games.
Esperance line up:
Moez Ben Charifa, Khelil Chammam, Chamsedine Dhaouadi, Sameh Derbaly, Houcine Errabei, Frank Kom, Saad Bguir, Anice Badri, Fousseyni Coulibaly, Mohammed Belaili, Bilel Mejri.
KCCA line up:
Charles Lukwago, Bernard Muwanga, Timothy Awany, Mustapha Kizza, Ibrahim Saddam Juma, Muzamir Mutyaba, Gift Ali, Julius Poloto, Allan Okello, Jackson Nunda, Mohammed Shaban.