KCCA FC just showed all the other Ugandan clubs how to make close to a billion shillings in 90 minutes; by knocking out your opponent in the final qualifying round of a Caf competition. KCCA goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan was the hero, saving two penalties and scoring the decisive kick to spur his team to a 4-3 post-match penalty win after the tie had ended 1-1 on aggregate.
Few would have given the Kasasiro boys a chance against seasoned Egyptian side El Masry when the draw for Africa’s second most prestigious club competition was made and the Ugandan club landed Egyptian opponents–who for long have tormented our teams at club and national team levels.
KCCA however did themselves the first favour by beating El Masry 1-0 in the first leg of their tie in Kampala last weekend even if that slim win appeared to have left them with a mountain to climb in their return leg in Egypt. But the Kasasiro boys were unfazed despite going down 1-0 very early against El Masry, keeping the score at 1-0 through the 90 minutes. That meant the fixture was tied at 1-1 on aggregate at full-time, and a penalty shootout was required to separate the two sides. Enter goalkeeper Ochan, whose heroics ensured the Egyptians were sent packing.
In the process, KCCA made history by becoming the first Ugandan club to qualify for the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup which was introduced in 2004 as Africa’s equivalent of the Europa League. What is more significant is that they also made a sackful of cash; KCCA is now assured of $250,000 (approximately Shs890m) prize money for simply making it to this stage. Not to mention the fact that they will be hosting some of Africa’s biggest clubs at Lugogo starting this May. In addition, their prize money could go up to Shs2b if KCCA surprise some more by winning the competition.
The Ugandan champions will now hope for a kind draw after all the final 16 teams in the competition become known by the end of tomorrow (Sunday). But then, after coming within 10 minutes of eliminating African champions Mamelodi Sundowns from continental football just last month, maybe a couple of African sides won’t want to end up in KCCA’s group. The draw is scheduled to take place on Wednesday April 26 in Cairo, Egypt.
The Caf Confederation Cup features a group phase of four groups with four teams each. The top two teams qualify for the quarter finals.