The KPA sponsored football team, Bandari FC, drew with Uganda’s league champions KCCA in the opening match of Group B held, yesterday, at Huye.
Bandari FC announced their intentions of being serious hunters of this year’s title immediately after centre referee, Mfaume Ally, blew the whistle to signal the start of the match.
In a bid to make history, the team launched an attack and the efforts were fruitful after Abdalla Hassan shook the net, beating KCCA custodian Charles Lukwago from a lovely cross in the 2ndminute of the match.
Riding on the early goal advantage, the Dockers sustained momentum going into the penalty area of a strong KCCA side.
The Ugandans demonstrated a fighting spirit capitalizing on their strength in the midfield by exchanging accurate short passes.
In the 20th minute, they had a realistic chance which could have resulted to an equalizer but the watchful Bandari goalkeeper, Farouk Shikalo, made a crucial save.
Bandari FC made attacks in equal measure and would have extended the lead in the 42nd minute through Yema Mwana who was rampant in front of the goal but again the KCCA goalkeeper fended off the shot.
In the second half, just like the first half, there was entertaining encounter but both sides spurned their scoring chances.
KCCA( yellow) leveled in the 60th minute through substitute Sadam Ibrahim Juma who pounced to cross the ball past Shikalo.
The match ended at 1-1 to the satisfaction of both coaches Bernard Mwalala of Bandari and Mike Mutabi of KCCA.
Addressing journalists after the match, Mwalala said he was contented with the outcome considering that this was the first match played against one of the toughest teams in the competition.
“We will go back to the drawing board and rectify some areas as we go to the next match,” said Mwalala.
His KCCA counterpart said that even though his team dominated the game, Bandari FC had a solid defensive line.
In another Group B match played at the same venue, defending champions of the tournament Azam FC of Tanzania beat Rwanda’s Mukura Victory by a solitary goal to top the group.
The tournament has 16 teams pooled in four groups where the top two teams will advance to the quarter finals. Bandari FC plays its next match on Tuesday against Mukura Victory of Rwanda.
Paul MUGABE reported