By Fred Kaweesi
CAF Confederations Cup
SCVU v Don Bosco (Sunday,4pm)
CAF Champions League
KCCA FC v El Merriekh (Saturday, 4pm)
SPORTS Club Victoria University have drawn up a plan that should overturn their 3-0 first leg defeat to DR Congo outfit Don Bosco last Saturday.
To start with, Uganda’s CAF Confederations Cup representatives have decided to pardon suspended first team stars Denis Iguma and Savio Kabugo.
The duo had been suspended for absconding from club duty in the aftermath of their Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) outing with the Cranes last month.
“The two have apologised and will be considered for the weekend game. It’s unfortunate they were not part of the team in Lubumbashi their unacceptable behaviour,” SCVU chairman Simo Dubajic told New Vision.
He added: “We had plenty to learn in the first game. African football is not easy but we can turn around that result. I hope fans come and push the team through on Sunday,” Dubajic added.
It’s not all lost
The nature of the result suffered at the hands of a more experienced and well-drilled opponent would deflate any team ahead of a return leg.
But that does not seem to be the case with the club’s head coach Morley Byekwaso. Byekwaso has drafted a training regime that will bring out the best from his youthful side in the next three days.
“It was more of a learning experience for the team and a bulk of the players we brought here. I am convinced that we can overturn the result. We know what we have to do now imrpove,” Byekwaso pointed.
In Lubumbashi, Byekwaso opted for a cautious strategy in the first half and it backfired. He also watched on helplessly as poor officiating and individual mistakes conspired to condemn his side to the worst possible start to their CAF adventure.
First half goals from Lungu Luka, Reagan Pembele and a third after the break from Joseph Sitali sealed SCVU’s fate and meant that the youthful outfit will have to win by four clear goals in the return leg on Sunday to guarantee progress to the next round of the tournament.
A 3-0 win for SCVU could also secure a penalty shootout. But considering that penalties are a lottery, the odds could still swing in favour of a Don Bosco side that looked more experienced organized in the first leg fixture.
Although Iguma and Kabugo are expected to return to the side from suspension, the fitness concerns of goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan could undermine the team’s prospects.
Ochan was forced to withdraw from the game in the 75th minute after suffering a hamstring injury.
That said, the one area that SCVU will have to deal with are individual mistakes that ‘gifted’ Don Bosco the first two goals.
Zambian striker Lungu Luka took advantage of the acres of space presented to him just outside the box and headed past a flat-footed Ochan to help the hosts to the lead on eight minutes.
With the game destined for half-time and still clearly on a knife-edge, SCVU defender Benard Agele the second. Rather than play safe for a corner, Agele chose to keep the ball into play. He was then outmuscled by Lungu, who released Pembele for an easy tap-in on 43 minutes.
Sithali then struck the third after being presented a dubious free-kick just outside the box on 73 minutes. Agele’s would-be consolation was ruled out for unclear reasons.
“Apart from Muzamir (Mutyaba), the rest of the players were a shame to Ugandan football. None of the other players performed to the standards I want in the national team,” Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic, who also travelled to Lubumbashi, hinted.
SCVU ratings Vs Bosco: Ochan (Kimera) (4), Agandu (5), Muleme (5), Agele (5), Mpuga 6, Jjuuko (4), Muzamir (6), Ssemakula (4), Okwi (4), Nsubuga (4), Mugerwa (5).
SCVU recall Iguma and Kabugo