Allan Okello and Muzamiru Mutyaba both score as KCCA FC beat Tanzanian side Mtibwa Sugar 5-1 on aggregate to advance to the play-off round.
2018-19 CAF CONFEDERATION CUP
First round, Saturday's return leg result:
Mtibwa Sugar SC 1 KCCA FC 2
(KCCA advance 5-1 on aggregate)
By Joseph Kizza
DAR-ES-SALAAM - This lad Allan Okello. He fancies placing the icing on the cake, doesn't he?
The KCCA FC attacker replicated what he did in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup first round against Mtibwa Sugar SC by again scoring the wrapper in the dying minutes of the game.
Saturday's second leg victory, built onto last week's triumph in Kampala, saw KCCA progress to the play-off round of the competition 5-1 on aggregate.
Muzamiru Mutyaba's first-half goal was cancelled out by Salum Kihimbwa's header after the restart. But two minutes before time, Okello pounced to wrap up back-to-back victories for the Ugandan side.
So here is what will happen next.
KCCA have secured one of 15 slots to play in the playoff round - preserved for the winners of the first round.
The 15 winners will face off against the 15 losers of the CAF Champions League first round. Ugandan side Vipers SC feature here.
Vipers, the defending Ugandan league champions, were relegated to the Confederation Cup on Saturday after falling 3-0 on aggregate to Algerian side CS Constantine.
It means going forward, Uganda now has two representatives in the Confederation Cup play-off stage, whose draw will be held on December 28.
Task dealt with
In the run-up to Saturday's return fixture, KCCA head coach Mike Mutebi voiced his confidence in his side to deal with the task before them. They were carrying a healthy three-goal advantage to their east-African neighbours.
While he mentioned in his pre-match press conference that he had "no injury problems", one of his key players was not to feature.
Patrick Kaddu, who scored in the 3-0 first leg win at StarTimes Lugogo Stadium, was ruled out of the opposite tie after picking a knee injury in the league game sandwiching the continental double header.
In the game against Paidha Black Angels earlier this week, on-form Kaddu hit a hattrick but got injured. He later mentioned that he was "gutted" not to be able to play in Tanzania, but that the available options would fittingly "fill the void".
Indeed, as it later turned out, there needn't be worry for Mutebi's outfit as they would go on to register their first continental away win.
Mutyaba scored the opener in the 28th minute
Playing under typically warm Dar-es-Salaam weather, the visitors, who had Steven Sserwadda making his CAF debut, started strongly.
Okello and Mutyaba both made their mark early as home goalkeeper Shaban Shaban was drawn into early action.
KCCA did ever well to preserve their wealthy goal advantage, and will have Charles Lukwago to thank for after the first-choice goalie denied Japhari Kibaya in the 27th minute.
A minute later, the visitors punished the Wana Tamtam through Mutyaba's precise finish. Zubeir Katwila's men now had to work even harder, considering that the away-goals rule is very much in play in this competition.
Mtibwa returned after the break with more intent, and showed for it by pulling back one goal through Kihimbwa to reduce the huge deficit six minutes into the second half.
Gift Ali was introduced in place of Jackson Nunda in KCCA's first substitution of the game. On either side of that change, the home side also made changes.
And with 19 minutes left on the clock, Mike Mutyaba came on for continental debutant Sserwada as KCCA continued to snuff out any lingering Mtibwa threat.
Mutebi's final reform involved resting Allan Kyambadde - who scored in the first leg - and bringing on Herbert Achai to play the final 10 minutes.
The final act was executed by Okello, as the youngster struck deliciously to seal victory in the 88th minute. It was then left to the referee's final whistle to end Mtibwa Sugar's misery and leave them with a sour aftertaste as they exited the competition.
Mixed fortunes for Ugandan clubs
Vipers SC failed to hit the right notes against CS Constantine
Two Ugandan clubs were playing on Saturday for different continental ambitions.
While KCCA were on the road across the border to finish off with the Mtibwa challenge, inversely, Vipers were at home - hosting a return leg fixture in which they had to win against CS Constantine.
The north-African side brought to Kampala a slender one-goal advantage, and were keen to squeeze the venom out of their rivals.
At half-time, while KCCA led several miles away inside the Azam Complex, Vipers were being held at bay at St. Mary's Stadium, Kitende, off Entebbe road.
And later on, in a space of five minutes, Adil Djabout and Mohammed Walid silenced the home crowd in the second half to eventually beat Javier Martinez Espinoza's side 3-0 on aggregate.
But it's not over yet for Vipers. They are still playing continental football - albeit now at a lower level.
Elimination from the CAF Champions League plunged the 2017/18 Uganda Premier League champions into the CAF Confederation Cup. Here, just like KCCA, Vipers will compete in the play-off round for a place in the lucrative group stage.
So who will either side be pitted against in this round?
We shall know six days from today. The draw awaits.
Also related to this story
First leg: KCCA 3 Mtibwa Sugar 0