CAF Confederations Cup
KCCA FC 3-1 AS Kigali
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
KCCA FC failed to overturn a two goal deficit against AS Kigali and bowed out of the CAF Confederations Cup on away goals, Wednesday afternoon.
After failing to raise the required number of players for a CAF game, Mike Mutebi’s side lost the first leg 2-0 and could not rally a come back despite winning the second leg 3-1 at Kitende.
Brian Aheebwa who came into the game having scored seven goals in his first five games for KCCA, in the league, scored all three goal for the hosts including an early strike in the first minute.
Muhadjiri Hakizimana scored the all important away-goal for Kigali, netting from the spot at the start of the second half after a clumsy foul by Musa Ramathan.
KCCA FC who had earlier received a bye to reach this stage, are now out of the Confederation Cup meaning Uganda will not have a representative on the continent in the final round. Vipers SC were the first to be eliminated from the CAF Champions League.
For Kigali, they head into the playoff round where they will await the draw to know who they will be facing. If they can negotiate the next hurdle, they will reach the lucrative group stage of the competition.
KCCA FC fail to resurrect from the dead
After losing the first leg, without playing, KCCA FC knew that only a fast start would give them any sort of a chance to reach the next stage.
Aheebwa handed them a dream start inside the opening seconds when he pounced onto a lose ball after a routine Denis Iguma was not dealt with by the Kigali defence, to fire home the opening goal off a volleyed effort.
Having taken the initiative in the game but still trailing on aggregate, the Kasairos were then pegged back for the entire opening quarter and must have felt luck to still be ahead as captain Charles Lukwago produced two fine saves before Ramathan’s challenge on Hussein Tshabala.
Mike Mutebi who took a huge gamble, starting six offensive-minded players, saw his tactics pay off in the final 15 minutes as the home side press the visitors in their own half.
The second goal came on 37 minutes with Aheebwa finishing off a fine team move after collecting from Bright Anukani at the edge of the box.
In an attempt to kill off the game, KCCA made two substitutions at the start of the second half with Sadat Anaku and Steven Sserwadda replacing Joseph Kafumbe and Sam Ssenyonjo.
But before the substitutions could settle in, Kigali equalised from the spot to ensure that the Kasasiros require two more goals.
KCCA struggled to create chances in the opening exchanges of the second half and those that came their way never looked to trouble Bate in the Kigali goal.
Anukani collected from Aheebwa but shot weakly at Bate before Anaku mis-cued from inside the area after he was sent on his way by the former Proline FC playmaker.
With Kigali starting to relax, KCCA proved that they would not go down minus a fight.
Aheebwa clipped the ball over Bate after he was teed up by the industrious Muguma to put the hosts within a goal of the playoff round.
The former Mbarara City FC striker got the last two chance to complete the turnaround and send his side into the playoff round but, first, his week shot inside the area was straight at Bate then once again fired into the custodian’s hands after powering his way through two Kigali defenders.
Kigali Just About Hold On To Reach Playoff Round
AS Kigali came into the game as odds-on favourites to progress after a healthy two-goal caution from the first leg and a clean sheet.
They were however shocked with Aheebwa’s opening goal inside a minutes.
After conceding, they grew into the game and got chances to level matters.
Tshabala twice forced a decent save from Lukwago after running through on goal.
The fast-paced right forward then saw a last ditch challenge from Musa Ramathan stop him from shooting at goal after he was played in by Aboubakar Laual following Anukani’s misplaced pass in the middle.
Tshabala was causing KCCA all sorts of problems and got another chance to equalize but his self-directed header off 6 cross was too close to Lukwago.
After conceding the second goal, Kigali were forced to make an attacking substitution as they sent on Eric Ndayishimihe for Tumaini Ntamuhanga and changed the shape to a two-man attack from a 4:5:1:
The move paid off dividends five minutes after the re-start as Ndayishimihe directed a ball into Laual direction before Ramathan brought down the lanky striker into the area. Muhadjiri Hakizimana took responsibility and sent Lukwago in the wrong direction to swing the tie back into Kigali’s favour.
After netting the all precious away goal, Kigali took their foot off the gas-peddle and paid dearly as Aheebwa completed his hat trick on 76 minutes.
The final minutes were nervy for the visitors but despite conceding two late chances, they held on to reach the playoff round of the competition.
How both teams started
KCCA FC – Charles Lukwago (GK), Denis Iguma, Musa Ramathan, Herbert Achai, Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Ashraf Mugume, Joseph Kafumbe, Keziron Kizito, Bright Anukani, Sam Ssenyonjo, Brian Aheebwa.
AS Kigali – Bate Shamiru (GK), Hassan Rugirayabo, Christian Ishimwe, Hassan Karera, Emery Bayisenge, Eric Nsabimana, Rachidi Kalisa, Tumaini Ntamuhanga, Hussein Thabalala, Muhadjiri Hakizimana, Aboubakar Lawal