By James Bakama
CAF Champions League
KCC v Al Merrikh
KCCA FC began training for its CAF Champions League return leg against Al-Merreikh with coach George Nsimbe preaching against complacency.
But as he put it to his troops that their away win shouldn’t be taken for granted, some of his players seemed to be doing exactly that.
Tony Odur, scorer of KCC’s second goal in Khartoum, didn’t attend the crucial training session just like midfielder Brian Majwega.
“They called and gave their reasons which I can’t tell the media,” Nsimbe told journalists who wanted to know exactly why the two players hadn’t showed up for the team’s morning training at Lugogo.
KCCA, who pulled off a surprise 2-0 away win over the Sudanese giants, returned on Monday, meaning that they are now left with only three days to prepare.
The team entered camp at Namboole last evening and starts double training sessions today. But despite the absence of two of his top guns, Nsimbe urged his players to put up an even better show in the return leg.
“It’s not over till it’s over,” he told the attentive players at the KCCA ground in Lugogo.
“Our strategy is to go out and attack, but also ensure that we are not caught sleeping at the back.”
A classic encounter that KCCA should draw lessons from, is the 2003 SC Villa match against Angolan side AS Aviacao.
Villa against all odds stunned the Angolan side with a 2-1 defeat thanks to goals by Vincent Tendwa and Alex Isabirye in Luanda. To the Villa faithful, the Jogoos who now just needed any home draw, had advanced.
But it was a different story in the return leg.
A big crowd went to Namboole to be part of what was supposed to be yet another historic result. To everyone’s suprise, the Angolans took the lead with 11 minutes left.
The hosts however still led on away goals rule. But it wasn’t long before even this hope evaporated. With just a minute left, the visitors struck again sending a cold chill down the hosts as the Jogoos were sent packing
3-2 on aggregate. In almost similar circumstances, Express had in 1976 held Nigerian giants Enugu Rangers to an away draw only to crumble at Nakivubo just like KCC against the mighty Arab Contractors in 1983.