Friday, February 10
*Raja Casablanca (Morocco) 5-0 Vipers (Uganda)
Vipers were treated to a rude welcome on their CAF Champions League debut after a 5-0 defeat to Raja Casablanca in Morocco.
Hamza Khabba, Jamal Harkass, Mohamed Zrida, Yousri Bouzouk and Roger Aholou scored a goal each for the hosts.
And it could have been worse if the hosts had the fans, but the game was played behind closed doors at the Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca after the Club were given a ban due to fans violence in their quarterfinal elimination against Al Ahly last season.
The Venoms were down by two goals just after 11 minutes, with goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza taking the blame.
He was caught off guard for Khabba to score on a reflected header.
And he later spilled a tameable freekick for Harkass to bundle in from close range.
And the tie was all but done before the break when Zrida slotted in the third after a good cut-back from Harkass.
Vipers added fresh legs before restart, with Yunus Sentamu, Desire Tetty and Olivier Osomba coming on.
But all this proved fruitless with the hosts getting a fourth with Bouzouk on target just before the hour-mark.
And Aholou put the icing on the cake in the 70th minute, before the referee put Vipers out of their misery.
Vipers, under new coach Beto Bianci, barely threatened, with their first shot on target coming in the 34th minute through Martin Kizza’s freekick.
The loss was expected to some extent, especially against a three-time CAF Champions League winner, but the manner in which they conceded the goals will leave Vipers with a lot of questions.
But these are lessons learnt, and they have a week-long period to adjust before hosting Horoya at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
Vipers XI – Alfred Mudekereza, Ashraf Mandela, Dissan Galiwango, Murushid Juuko, Hillary Mukundane, Siraje Sentamu, Bright Anukani, Karim Watambala, Milton Karisa, Martin Kizza, Lumala Abdu