Ten-man KCCA went down fighting 1-0 against a very experienced Esperance side at Namboole on Saturday as their chances of progressing to the Caf Champions League quarterfinals deemed further.
Substitute Haythem Houini’s first goal was enough to claim Esperance six points over the two legs and to end KCCA’S unbeaten home run since Mike Mutebi took over as coach, three years ago.
The defeat leaves both KCCA and Botswana’s Township Rollers, who also lost 1-0 to Egypt’s Al Ahly on the same day, bottom on three points apiece after four matches.
Esperance top Group A on 10 points with only two games to go while Al Ahly are second on seven.
Al Ahly’s win meant Esperance qualified for the last eight and the Egyptians are primed to join them.
KCCA started with much promise with Allan Okello and Muzamir Mutyaba combining well upfront but the Tunisianas held on well to deny them. Striker Patrick Kaddu was largely nullified.
But when Esperance broke, they capitalised on KCCA’s lapse in defence; along ball flying over their last line to land on Jouini, who controlled inside the box and brilliantly lofted over hapless Charles Lukwago for a 41st minute lead.
The hosts never recovered, Esperance using experience to hold the game out, and even forcing Lukwago to be sent off for protestations as the goalkeeper harangued the referee over a time wasting Tunisia player.
Caf Champions League
Saturday Group A results
KCCA 0-1 Esperance
Township Rollers 0-1 Al Ahly