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KCC vs Nkana: History favors the visitors but Nsimbe’s boys are ready

CAF Champions League Return leg, First round

8th March, 2014 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole

Center referee: Rainhold Shikongo

Assistant referee I: Benedictus Hamicoto Nashenda

Assistant Referee II: Isaskar Boois

Fourth official: Andreas Helmut

When KCC FC march onto the Mandela national stadium turf, Namboole tomorrow to face Nkana FC in a CAF champions league return leg first round engagement, all odds will be against them due to a rich history Nkana enjoys here in Uganda.

Having secured a memorable 2-2 draw away in Kitwe, KCC will start with an edge over Nkana FC however caution must be in KCC FC;s plans for the match as Nkana FC has never lost a CAF engagement in Uganda.

Nkana’s last three Continental games here in Kampala, all ended in their favour. KCC FC technical bench led by George Nsimbe must be aware of this record. Nsimbe will not entertain complacency in the camp.

Nkana’s first CAF engagement in Uganda was in 1993 against the mighty SC Villa with the likes of Kirunda Jimmy, John Jumba, Late Shaban Mwinda and Kasirye Jamil all at their peaks. Villa were nplayable on the local season as they had won the League title unbeaten in the 1982 season.  

On match day against Nkana, the Ugandan side lost 2-1 to the Red devils at Nakivubo. Nkana completed the job in Kitwe with a 4-0 mauling to qualify 6-1 on aggregate.

Nkana’s next visit was against Express FC in 1990 in the Cup Winners cup return leg tie after Express had put up a formidable resistance away in Zambia before finally losing 3-1 with Umar Senoga’s consolation goal giving the red army fans some hope.  Express needed a 2-0 score line to qualify to the next round but Nkana had different ideas in the return leg at Nakivubo stadium as they won 1-0 to advance 4-1 on aggregate.

Nkana’s last visit here was in 1992 when they played KCC FC in a CAF club championship now CAF champions league first round first leg encounter at Nakivubo stadium.

KCC went into this match with Tom Lwanga as interim coach after Bernarbas Mwesiga’s resignation following a 5-0 drubbing by SC Villa in a league match at Masaka recreation ground just four days to Nkana’s arrival.

KCC fielded one of their strongest line ups where Sadiq Wassa (after overcoming a bout of malaria) stood between the posts,  Senkubuge Moses at right back, Masiko Charles father to Masiko Tom who was sent off in Kitwe played at the left back with the partnership of Muyanja Derrick and Kavule David in central defence completing the backline. The midfield had current KCC FC coach George Nsimbe, Sam Simbwa, Kinyera Charles and Kisekka Julius who were assigned to supply ammunition to the front runners Jalendo Charles & Mayanja Jackson in a 4-4-2 formation.

KCC had a decent first 45 minutes missing a couple of chances before finally succumbing to Nkana’s might in the second half when Beston Chambeshi’s brace plus a goal apiece by Kenneth Malitoli and Ziziwe helped Nkana to a 4-0 rout.

Nkana’s would be fourth visit in Uganda was cut short in 2001 when their opponents in the CAF Cup Winners cup first round second leg tie Military Police pulled out citing lack of funds interestingly after travelling for the first leg in Kitwe where they had lost 3-0 with Sam Simbwa as head coach. Current KCC FC assistant coach Abdallah Mubiru was in the Military side.

Statistically, Nkana FC have all reasons to believe in themselves but KCC FC are mentally, psychologically and physically ready for the tie.

Furthermore, KCC once achieved such an identical result away in Cairo in 1983 against Arab Contractors of Egypt in the Cup Winners Cup engagement after goals by Kyazze Frank and Mugambe Sam secured a rare 2-2 away draw in North Africa.  Expectations were thus raised like it is now however history shows that after taking a two goal advantage with strikes from Omondi Phillip and Ssentamu Moses, KCC blew it in the last 3 minutes of normal time.

With minutes ticking away, Arab Contractors pulled a goal back from a header resulting from a free kick which many took to be a consolation goal however, laxity of Yusuf Ssonko allowed Abdul Razak to intercept a feeble back pass to Umbwa Kali Wandyete Peter who handled in the forbidden area resulting into a penalty in the last seconds of the debacle, under such circumstances, Arabs take no chances and the penalty was coolly converted for the score to lead 2-2.

In the spot kicks, KCC missed the first 3 through Nsereko Moses, Ssonko Yusuf & Latigo John before Ssentamu Moses converted the fourth which was a little too late to salvage KCC’s chances of progressing, Arab Contractors therefore won the tie 3-1 via a penalty shoot-out after a 4-4 aggregate score in both legs.

With such a background, KCC FC need not to be reminded that it’s not over until it’s over.  

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