Ugandan champions KCCA FC gave themselves an excellent chance to make Caf Champions League history next week after scoring a crucial away goal as they suffered a respectable 2-1 defeat to African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in their first leg qualifying game in Pretoria.
KCCA had travelled to South Africa on Tuesday optimistic about their chances against Sundowns but when they took to the field on Fridayevening it took just five minutes for their South African hosts to deliver a brutal reality check.
Only two minutes had been recorded on the clock when Soumahoro Bangaly escaped the attentions of the KCCA backline to head home the opener. Three minutes later, it was 2-0 after Cranes left back Joseph Ochaya gave away a needless penalty that was expertly dispatched by Ricardo Nascimento. It appeared like a rout was the only possible outcome.
Indeed it was nearly 3-0 for Sundowns after 15 minutes but Nsacimento’s pinpoint header was disallowed for an earlier infringement by one of his teammates on a KCCA defender. Sundowns continued to open KCCA at will in most of the first half, but the Kasasiro Boys recomposed themselves in the second half and got back in the game, with Geoffrey Serunkuma converting a perfect cross from Derrick Nsibambi to give his side a precious away goal.
The result now means KCCA only needs a 1-0 win against the South Africans when the two sides meet in the second leg in Kampala, with a place in the Caf Champions League group stages up for grabs. Should KCCA prevail, it will be the first Ugandan club to make it to that stage in the competition and the reward that awaits is a Shs2b cash prize.