KAMPALA- The scars that Tunisian side Esperance inflicted on KCCA must have healed by now.
It’s 21 years since the clubs last met, after all. Today’s Caf Champions League game in Tunis may not feel like a reunion. So much water has gone under the bridge, including KCC changing name to KCCA.
This Group A tie is a chance for KCCA for to add to their tally of three points and perhaps leapfrog Esperance, on four points, to the summit.
We revisit the days when Esperance last faced any kind of Ugandan opposition.
Mayanja’s KCCA routed (1997)
The 1997 Caf Cup semifinals is the last time KCCA faced Esperance. The Tunisians won 3-1 at Nakivubo despite ‘new-kid-on-the-block’ Baker Mbowa scoring after coming off the bench.
A young team built by current coach Mike Mutebi, with Tom Lwanga taking charge upon his sacking, shipped in a 6-0 score at the Stade Olympique De Rades.
The Rades stadium, which is shared by arch-rivals Club Africain, is the same where Villa were ‘molested’ in 1991. That KCCA team was led by Jackson Mayanja who had returned to Uganda from a pro stint in Egypt. Esperance won the competition, beating Angola’s 2-1 in two-legged final.
Mbabazi screamer not enough for Express (1998)
A classic long range strike from Livingstone Mbabazi gave Express a monumental 1-0 second round victory over Esperance at Nakivubo in the African Cup Winners’ Cup. There was every reason to believe that the Red Eagles could do the job in Rades. Esperance won the return encounter 2-0 for a 2-1 aggregate result. Espérance won the cup after defeating Angola’s Primeiro de Agouti 4-2 in a two-legged final.