KCCA win the home battle but lose the war to AS Otoho while Vipers ship three goals away against Sfaxien, as the two Ugandan sides exit the continental competition.
PIC: It was a wet affair as KCCA hosted Otoho at the StarTimes Stadium on Sunday. (Photo credit: KCCA FC)
2018-19 CAF CONFEDERATION CUP PLAYOFFS
Sunday return leg results
|KCCA FC 2-0 AS Otoho
(Otoho win 3-2 on aggregate)
|CS Sfaxien 3-0 Vipers SC
(Sfaxien win 3-0 on aggregate)
By Joseph Kizza
The road came to an abrupt end for KCCA FC and Vipers SC in this season's continental football as Uganda's only representatives in the 2018-19 CAF Confederation Cup got knocked out Sunday.
Both sides had their work cut out in the lead up to their respective fixtures.
KCCA, trailing 3-0 from the first leg, had to produce a magical turnaround at home against AS Otoho of Congo Brazzaville while Vipers travelled to Tunisia on a quest to upset CS Sfaxien after their first leg encounter in Kitende ended goalless.
To advance, the Kasasiro Boys required to find the back of the net at least four times without reply in what was poised to be a tricky assignment. The Venoms, on the other hand, needed at least a draw - but not a 0-0 result - to progress via the away-goals rule.
But by the end of the day, both sides were out.
Vipers blown away
In Sfax, if the filled Tareb Mhiri Stadium failed to intimidate the visitors, then perhaps Alaeddine Marzouki's early goal did, as the 29-year-old midfielder pounced to put Sfaxien in front in the 10th minute.
That was a harsh reminder for Michael Ouma's side that they were facing a side that have won the competition three times before. A brutal wake-up call that their hosts have also won the CAF Champions League once.
At 1--0 down, Vipers knew they needed to score once and hold on till the end of 90 minutes to go through. Easier played in the mind than executing it on the pitch. In fact, they fell further behind in the 34th minute when Nigerian Kingsley Sokari nodded past Fabien Mutombora from a swift delivery from the right flank.
Sfaxien, eight-time Tunisian league champions, went into the break with an air of usefulness while the visitors walked off the pitch for interval with more questions than answers.
Ouma's men, while keeping their more illustrious opponents at bay, offered little in the attacking sense, with Dan Sserunkuma rarely making headway upfront against a wall of white and black stripes.
And when the third goal arrived in stoppage time through Manucho to wrap up a dominant display by the home side, the Venoms had long resigned to the ever likely prospect of seeing the exit door.
Vipers were ejected from the CAF Champions League last month by north African opposition - CS Constantine. And once again, their exit from the Confederation Cup has been by the hands of another side from the northern part of the continent.
KCCA a tad too late for a comeback
Meanwhile, for KCCA, dealing with a three-goal deficit carried from the first leg was made even more difficult by the elements, as an afternoon downpour in Kampala lashed the players in a do-or-die tie for the hosts, with the wet surface providing a tricky foundation for an already Herculean task for Mike Mutebi's side.
Overturning such huge arrears required early reaction, but KCCA, despite starting strongly under the dampening weather braved by a large group of home fans, failed to brighten their chances in a goalless opening half.
And they will have felt hard done by with Burundian referee Pacifique Ndabihawenimana's decision to turn down their strong penalty claims when Allan Kyambadde was brought down in the box 10 minutes before the break.
Much earlier, Muzamiru Mutyaba had tested Mongondza Ngobo with a fierce strike which the visiting goalkeeper tipped over the bar for a corner.
Otoho, who are currently in fifth place in the Congo Premier League, had their chances too, and often drew home keeper Charles Lukwago into fine saves. At 0-0, any goal for Otoho would worsen matters for the hosts.
Willed on by a brave crowd, an under-the-cosh KCCA did manage to find the opener in the 65th minute, Patrick Kaddu's strike providing the much needed impetus for a difficult yet achievable comeback.
The home side needed to find another two goals to level matters, yet with the second goal coming at the death from a penalty converted by Allan Okello, there was hardly any time left to complete the mission. The two minutes of stoppage time did KCCA no favours as they got knocked out of the competition.