KCCA vs 10 African titles

By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo


KCCA were last night drawn against Africa’s most successful club, Egypt’s Al Ahly, to spice up their first appearance in the Caf Champions’ League group stage.
Al Ahly have won more Caf Champions League titles than any other team, eight, a Caf Confederation Cup title, a record six Caf Super Cup crowns, plus finishing third at the Fifa Club World Cup.
The legendary side last won the Champions’ League in 2013 before ‘hitting a slump’ in which they won the Caf Confederation Cup in 2014. They were losing finalists to Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca last year.
Placed in pot three, KCCA were picked second and ‘thrown’ into group A that also has two-time African champions – Tunisia’s Esperance and group stage debutants Township Rollers.
Muhammad Shaban’s goal that beat Ethiopia’s St George 1-0 on Saturday ensured a minimum of US$550,000 (Shs1.9bn) and a reunion with their former player, midfielder Ivan Ntege.
This will happen on matchday one on the weekend of May 4-6 when KCCA visit Botswana.
The draw conducted at the Caf headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo will see the double Ugandan League and Cup champions play their opening and final group games away from home.
Manager Mike Mutebi, who attended the draw, made some bold declarations in the aftermath KCCA’s continental success in the Caf Confederation Cup last year. A follow up on his words is coming.
KCCA picked some monumental results – beating three North African sides – El Masry (Egypt), FUS Rabat (Morocco) and Club Africain (Tunisia).
It was a total break from the past when a game between a Ugandan side and a North African side pointed to one result – victory for the latter. “We always had this fatalistic mentality. Before, we played them, we were always defeated. That defeatist approach is now gone. We now have the belief of competing against Maghreb teams,” Mutebi said.
“Now that’s not the case. People (no longer) believe that any team that comes from the Maghreb is (impossible. KCCA, for starters, are doing it and rest will follow,” Mutebi added.
Mutebi grew up in the 90s when North African teams always routed Uganda sides, both at club and national team level.
For example, on Al Ahly’s last visit here 12 years ago, they drew goalless with KCCA’s local rivals SC Villa before a 6-0 thumping in Cairo.
However, Villa beat them enroute the 1991 Caf Champions’ League final appearance via a post-match penalty shootout.
KCCA will host Al Ahly on matchday two in May before back-to-back fixtures against Esperance come July. The first of those fixtures will be in Rades. Esperance, African champions in 1994 and 2011, did ‘mistreat’ KCCA in the 1997 Caf Cup, winning 3-1 at Nakivubo and 6-0 in the Tunisian city of Rades for a 9-1 aggregate score in the semi finals.


4–6 May 2018 (away at Rollers)
15–16 May 2018 (home to Al Ahly)
17–18 July 2018 (away to Esperance)
27–29 July 2018 (home to Esperance)
17–19 August 2018 (home to Rollers)
28–29 August 2018 (away to Al Ahly)


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