- CAF Confederation Cup (1st Leg, Play off)
- Vipers (Uganda) 0-0 CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
Uganda’s Vipers Sports Club has a dream of playing at the group stages of a continental club’s competition.
The Venoms, as they are christened are 90 minutes away from achieving that dream with a return leg against Tunisian giants CS Sfaxien coming up in a week’s time.
Vipers and the Tunisian side shared the spoils in a goal-less stalemate during the first leg for the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Saturday.
This implies that Vipers can only make the group stages with an outright win or a scoring stalemate.
During the first leg of the play-off, it was a game of solid defending from the respective backlines, the two sides failed to find the back of the net throughout the 90 minutes.
Vipers’ utility player Geofrey Wasswa who started in the defensive midfield role alongside the team skipper Tadeo Lwanga had the very first opportunity of the game two minutes into the game.
Wasswa failed to control Dan Sserunkuma’s chip into the goal area before the goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen reacted faster off the line to collect the ball.
Three minutes later, CS Sfaxien dangerman Aymen Hazri shot across the home side goal all alone from an acute angle.
Sserunkuma and left back Yayo Lutimba Kato all had first half opportunities missed.
CS Sfaxien skipper Achraf Zouaghi forced Vipers’ Burundian goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora into a save with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Upon restart, the home side returned an energized entity creating a couple of goal scoring opportunities.
Sserunkuma tapped home off Moses Waiswa’s cross from the right although the former had been signalled off-side by the second assistant referee.
Midfielder Brian Nkuubi Ssemakula was the first player introduced by the Vipers’ technical wing, taking over defender Bashir Asiku’s place three minutes into the second half.
The change meant that Wasswa who started in central midfield would drift back to central defence to partner Livingstone Mulondo as Nkuubi took over the midfield role.
Sserunkuma had a shot from 25 yards well collected by goalie Aymen before the Venoms called off Noah Wafula for Abraham Ndugwa after 54 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second stanza, striker Tito Okello had a header cleared of the line by the goalkeeper as Vipers pushed forward for a break through moment.
Midfielder Waiswa forced a beautiful save from the goalkeeper who outstretched to parry away a dangerous curling ball from the right for a fruitless corner on the hour mark.
On 65 minutes, the visitors made the first change. Ben Ali Houssem was rested for a mobile Habib Oueslati.
With less than a quarter of an hour, Tito Okello had another header saved before Tadeo Lwanga also had an effort cleared off the line.
Fabrice Elysee Kouadio Kouakou was introduced for the industrious Walid Karoui with eight minutes left on the clock.
Walid got cautioned for time wasting as he delayed to walk out of the playing field.
Vipers called for the third and final change with five minutes to play.
Towering forward Davis Kasirye took over Tito Okello’s place as the home side became desperate to earn maximum points.
The return leg will be played on 20th January 2019 in Tunis with the winner on aggregate making it to the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup.
CS Sfaxien has won this tournament four times.
Team Line Ups:
Vipers XI: Fabien Mutombora (G.K), Ibrahim Kiyemba, Lutimba Yayo Kato, Livingstone Mulondo, Bashir Asiku (59’ Abraham Ndugwa), Geofrey Wasswa, Tadeo Lwanga (Captain), Moses Waiswa, Noah Wafula (47’ Brian Nkuubi Ssemakula), Okello Tito (85’ Davis Kasirye), Dan Sserunkuma
Subs Not Used: Derrick Ochan (G.K), Tom Masiko, Steven Mukwala, Joseph Jjanjali
CS Sfaxien XI: Ayman Dahmen (G.K), Nasim Hnid, Hani Amamu, Hamza Mathlouthi, Achraf Zouaghi (Captain), Hamza Jlassi, Houssem Dagdoug, Walid Karoui (82’ Fabrice Elysee Kouadio Kouakou), Aymen Harzi, Jassem Hamdouni, Chris Banhourin Kouakou, Ben Ali Houssem (65’ Habib Oueslati)
Subs Not Used: Mohamed Hedi Kaaloul (G.K), Mohamed Ali Moncer