- KCCA 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns (Aggregate 2-3)
When the Mamelodi Sundowns gangly Liberian forward, Anthony Laffor bulleted past KCCA goalie Benjamin Ochan in an acute angle, he signaled the index finger to zip his mouth as he raced to the corner flag in celebrations.
Laffor, a second half substitute was conveying a strong shut up message to the hundreds of passionate and loyal home fans that thronged the Lugogo fortress to cheer their team in the return leg of the CAF Champions League.
By this time, it was only 9 minutes to full time. KCCA’s hopes of progress to the group stages of the premier continental club competition had been dampened and dimmed.
The mood at the Phillip Omondi Stadium in Kampala City was sombre that the sound of a falling needle could be heard aloud even from the nearby busy forest mall.
Before Laffor’s goal, it was advantage KCCA as they led the match from the 31st minute on a rather wet astro turf of Lugogo following slight rain drizzles early in the day before kick-off.
Veteran striker Geofrey Sserunkuma had scored the opening goal a minute after the half hour mark that gave the reigning Ugandan Champions a slim 1-0 goal lead heading to half time break.
The hosts had been the better side for long spells of the half enjoying a lion’s share of the ball possession.
The visitors suffered a shock when defender Wayne Arendse limped out for Ivorian Soumahoro Bangaly, one of the scorers in the first leg.
Another Ivorian, Yannick Zakri had a shot on target inside 10 yards on 13 minutes that goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan saved.
It was winger Brian Majwega with a venomous shot on target as Wayne Sandilands collected easily on 14 minutes.
After 25 minutes, FIFA referee Joshua Bondo made a strong verbal warning against Mamelodi Sundowns’ goalie Sandilands for time wasting.
Two minutes to the 30th minute mark, Ivorian Soumahoro managed to head home but the referee disallowed the effort for offside.
Habibu Kavuma became the first player to be cautioned on the day for a foul on Yannick Zakri.
The defining moment of the opening half arrived in the 31st minute when winger Majwega delivered a pin point cross from the left that was well tapped home by poacher Geoffrey Sserunkuma to drive the Lugogo crowd wild.
At the onset of the second half, Anele Ngconga paved way for the big Liberian center forward Laffor, a change that engineered urgency and numbers upfront for the visitors.
Five minutes later, KCCA technical bench led by manager Mike Mutebi pulled out teenager Allan Okello for Nigerian Sulaimon Akinyemi Oladimeji as Paul Mucureezi was replaced by another Paul entity in Musamali.
The visitors were desperate and they proved it with the numerous attacks to the home team goal area.
Morena Thapelo came close but his goal bound effort hit the head of defender Habibu Kavuma.
With less than 20 minutes to play, Mashaba Nzikayise came on for Mabunda Tiyani as they fought for the equalizer.
Ivorian striker Zakri assisted Morna with a well laid ball but the latter shot over from 20 yards in the 77th minute.
It was Sundowns once again, two minutes later as Zwane Themba had a long range shot from 35 yards easily collected by Ochan.
The moment that sunk Lugogo and the players came in the 81st minute when the KCCA defence failed to clear a high ball that found a totally unmarked Laffor who shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle for the equalizer.
Mutebi once again pulled out an ineffective Akinyemi for Robert Sentongo with 5 minutes to play.
Sundowns held on up to the end and the final whistle from Joshua Bondo was greeted with celebrations by the Mamelodi Sundowns players and the handful of the fans who waved the South Africa and Mamelodi Sundowns flags.
The Brazilians thus qualify to the group stages 3-2 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, KCCA eagerly awaits for their feat of playing in the play-offs of the CAF confederation cup.
Team Line ups
KCCA XI: Benjamin Ochan (G.K), Denis Okot Oola (Captain), Joseph Ochaya, Habib Kavuma, Timothy Denis Awany, Isaac Kirabira, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Paul Mucureezi, Allan Okello, Geofrey Sserunkuma, Geofrey Sserunkuma, Brian Majwega
49′ Allan Okello OUT, Sulaimon Akinyemi Oladimeji IN
50′ Paul Mucureezi OUT, Paul Musamali IN
85′ Sulaimon Akinyemi Oladimeji OUT, Robert Sentongo
Subs Not Used: Charles Lukwago (G.K), Ivan Ntege, Tom Masiko, Vincent Kayizzi
Head coach: Mike Hilary Mutebi
Mamelodi Sundowns XI: Wayne Sandilands (G.K), Kekana Hlompho (Captain), Anele Ngcongca, Langerman Tebogo, Richardo Nascismento, Mabunda Tiyani, Morena Thapelo, Wayne Arendse, Zwane Themba, Zakri Yannick, Tau Percy
10′ Wayne Arendse OUT, Soumahoro Bangaly IN
46′ Anele Ngcongca OUT, Anthony Laffor IN
72′ , Mabunda Tiyani OUT, Mashaba Nzikayise IN
Subs Not Used: Kennedy Mwene (G.K), Nthethe Thabo, Teko Modise, Castro Leonardo,
Head coach: Pitso Mosimane
Referee: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)
Assistant Referee 1: Moemedi Monakwane (Botswana)
Assistant Referee 2: Mogomotsi Morakile (Botswana)
4th Official: Kutlwano Leso (Botswana)
Match Commissioner: Muhsin Ali Rajaba (Zanzibar)
Media Officer: Clive Kyazze (Uganda)
Security Officer: Philip Lubogo (Uganda)
Referees’ Coordinator: Ronnie Kalema (Uganda)