By James Bakama
CAF Champions League
KCCA 1 El Merreikh 2
(KCCA qualify 3-2 on aggregate)
SC Victoria University v Don Bosco (Sunday)
IT was sweet revenge for KCC as they edged Sudanese giants El Merreikh out of the CAF Champions League.
KCCA, 2-0 winners in Khartoum last week, lost the return leg 2-1 but advanced 3-2 on aggregate. They will now face the winner from the Nkana Red Devils versus Mbabane Swallow match.
Tony Odur had seven minutes into the match put the hosts ahead. Odur, who also scored in Khartoum, chipped the ball over goalkeeper Amir Kamal into the net sending the fairly big at Namboole crowd into cheers.
But as the game progressed KCC lost grip of proceedings as the visitors started dominating with long balls into the box. The continued raids paid off with four minutes to recess with Ahmed Elbasha leveling the score.
KCC were for most of the second half living dangerously with midfielder William Wadri visibly tired. Herman Wasswa was also a shadow of his first leg goal scoring form.
Burundi referee Thierry Nkurunziza also did further complicated matters for KCCA. He was visibly one sided, a fact that was highlighted by a questionable 75th minute penalty.
KCC’s Habib Kavuma hard tackled Ragei Abdelahi from what seemed like outside the box and Nkurunziza pointed to the spot.
Mohammed Traore took the penalty that goalkeeper Salim Magoola punched back into play. The rebound was played back Traore to put El Merreikh at 2-1.
As KCC players protested, Nkurunziza punished them with several yellow cards.
KCC had earlier come back into the game with the introduction of Michael Birungi for Wasswa. Wasswa had El Merreikh’s defenders on the back foot as he continually committed them.
The hosts protested when the fleet footed striker was brought down in the box but Nkurunziza left it to pass.
Fourth official Davis Ogenche Omweno despite being continuously being reminded intentionally refused to indicate the added time, letting the match continue for seven minutes after official time.