CAF Champions League 2018
KCCA FC 0 – 1 Esperance de Tunis
Mandela National Stadium, Nambole
KCCA FC lost their first game on the continet since 2015 when they went down 1-0 to Esperance at Namboole.
Mike Mutebi’s side missed several opportunities in the second half after they had fallen behind to Haithem Jouini’s strike on 41 minutes.
Unlike in the first game, Esperance started the first half strongly and created the first chance of the game when Fousseny Coulibaly sent a free kick into the KCCA penalty area but Ghilane Chalali could only tap wide Bilel Mejri’s well cautioned header.
KCCA’s first sight of goal came after 12 minutes when Allan Okello shot wide of the target from 30 yards.
Esperance were soon back in control and Mejri nearly made Hassan Musana pay for a defensive error but his goal bound shot was saved by Charles Lukwago who dived low to his left to purry the ball out for a corner.
The Tunisians were forced into an early substitution on 18 minutes and it was Youcef Belaili who had been struggling with a shoulder injury since the 3rd minutes who came off and replaced by Haithem Jouini.
A minute later, Aime Meskini produced a game saving block when he launched himself into the path of Muzamir Mutyaba’s goal bound strike.
On 27 minutes, the first clear chance of the game came to pass. Coulibaly released Mejri throw on goal but his goal bound effort was saved by Lukwago who was out of his area.
Despite the referee signalling for a free kick as the goalkeeper had used his hands to stop the ball, he was only shown a yellow card, much to the frustration of the Tunisians.
At the half hour mark, KCCA’s Julius Poloto sent in a delicious cross from the right but Mutyaba chose to chest it down for striker Patrick Kaddu who failed to capitalize.
At the other end, Anice Badri sent in a cross but Majri shot over from close range.
The first goal of the game came on 41 minutes when Coulibaly released substitute Jouni who ran throw on goal and shot over Lukwago into the top left corner to make it 1-0.
Lukwago was lucky not to receive a second yellow when he brought down Badri outside the area a minute later.
KCCA got the chance to level matters just before half time but Mustapha Kizza failed to beat Esperance goalkeeper Ben Cherifia who saved the close range effort at the near post and the ball went out for a corner.
At the start of the second half, Esperance nearly got the second but Badri’s effort could only find the post with Lukwago clearly beaten.
On 55 minutes, Okello found himself running free on goal but shot wide from a tight angle while one on one with Cherifia.
KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi made his first substitution on 58 minutes when he brought on Lawrence Bukenya in place of the ineffective Muzamir Mutyaba.
With KCCA trying to find a equalizer, that were left exposed at the back and Lukwago was called into action as he saved a long range shot from Badri on 62 minutes.
A minute later, Okello misses a glorious oppotunity from inside the box when he shot over the bar after he was teed up by Kizza’s expertly delivered free kick.
Okello missed again on 67 minutes when he failed to direct a free header goal wards off another Kizza delivery.
It was Saddam Juma turn to miss on 73 minutes when he shot straight at the post after a brilliant move that saw four players play one twos and Okello flicked the ball into his path with only the keeper to beat.
With time running out, Lukwago was sent off for an incident invloving Mejri who had gone down in the area earlier.
The five added minutes passed un eventful with Esperance running down the clock while 10 men KCCA failed to cub out an opening.
The result means that KCCA stay rooted at the table with three points from four games and now require a miracle of sorts to make it to the quarter finals of the competition.
Esperance still lead the group standings on 10 points.
The starting line ups:
KCCA FC IX;
Charles Lukwago (GK), Bernard Muwanga, Timothy Awanyi, Hassan Musana, Julius Poloto, Muzamir Mutyaba, Isaac Kirabira, Saddam Juma, Mustpha Kizza, Allan Okello, Martin Kaddu.
Moez Ben Cherifia (GK), Houcine Erebia, Khalil Chemam, Chamseddine Dhaouadi, Mohamed Amine Meskini, Fousseny Coulibaly, Ghilane Chalali, Saad Beguir, Mohamed Youcef Belaili, Anice Badri, Bilel Mejri.