KAMPALA — CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE result at Namboole: KCCA 2-0 Al Ahly
A Charles Lukwago penalty save and virtuoso second half display from KCCA humbled Africa's most successful club, Al Ahly, 2-0 at Namboole last evening to record their first group stage victory in two matches.
Playing only his fourth game in all competitions after an injury-plagued second round of the Ugandan league, Sadam Juma scored a cracker outside the 18-yard area on 73 minutes before Timothy Awany added the icing from a penalty spot.
"I have always said we respect Al Ahly," said a hugely satisfied Mike Mutebi, the KCCA manager, "But today we displayed very good tactical discipline in the second half after some school boy mistakes in the first half.
"We should have scored more in the second half and in the end we have gauged ourselves against the very best. Today, I'm very satisfied."
His Ahly counterpart Hossam El Badry admitted to having lost to a better team.
"Today, in the first half we controlled the game and created many chances, and we get penalty but didn't score," said El Badry. "We didn't utilise our chances and our second half performance was not like first half and KCCA attacked us.
"We conceded the penalty and after that it was difficult."
KCCA move to three points while Ahly remain on one. Esperance and Township Rollers were due to kick off by press time.Ahly could have run away 3-0 first half leaders but for their profligacy and the impeccable Lukwago in KCCA goal.
Saving the day
Twice Lukwago, who missed the 1-0 defeat to Botswana's Township Rollers, twice saved the day for KCCA.
First sticking out his right leg to stop a through-to-goal Mohamed Hussein and later - again Awany, Habib Kavuma, Denis Okot and Mustafa Kizza caught off balance - Lukwago stopping Phakamani Mahlambi one-on-one. In between the visitors, who dictated the first half, won a penalty when Kavuma handled in the area on 20 minutes but Lukwago dived the right way to save Walid Said Ebeid's kick. KCCA returned from the break with resolve, and Mutebi with smarter tactics; withdrawing the quiet Jackson Nunda for midfielder Lawrence Bukenya.
Bukenya now sat with Isaac Kirabira in front of the back four, allowing Juma more freedom forward with Allan Okello oscillating behind Poloto and the hardworking Muhammad Shaban.
It wasn't long before Juma repaid KCCA's faith after a goalline melee at the Egyptian end, the midfielder dispatching a drive beyond Ali Sherif Ekramy Ahmed for 73rd minute lead.
Paul Mucureezi, Shaban's replacement, then beat his man on the right before releasing Derrick Nsibambi, who came in for Kirabira; the striker felled by Mohamed El Ghareeb.
South African referee Victor Miguel pointed to the spot for the second time in the match and skipper Awany, displaying character of the highest order to emphatically dispatch the Egyptians.
If the rest of Africa still had doubts about the Ugandan champions, thoughts must surely be realigning now.