CECAFA teams face uphill task in CAF ties


ONLY the winner of the CAF Champions League return leg match between KCCA of Uganda and St George of Ethiopia in Kampala assures the CECAFA zone a place in the Group stage, but the remaining 10 teams are facing tough challengers to reach upper stage.

The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) has twelve teams man the two CAF major tournaments; six in Champions League and other six fighting for the Confederation Cup diadem.

CECAFA is sure to have one representative as both KCCA and Saint Georges belong to the council, but the remaining ten teams are in doubt to advance following their poor results in the both tournaments’ first leg.

Tanzania envoys, Young Africans who lost at home 2-1 to Township Rollers in Champions League and their traditional rivals, Simba who drew 2-2 at home with Al Masry of Egypt in CAF Confederation Cup are among the CECAFA teams facing a daunting task to advance.

Yanga must post a good victory in Gaborone to overcome the 2-1 loss they suffered at home to Township Rollers of Botswana. Kenya champions, Gor Mahia are not in a good position to advance after they were held to a barren draw at home by Esperance of Tunisia in Machakos last Wednesday.

The hosts had lots of chances in the opening 45 minutes but a combination of great goalkeeping from Moez Ben Cherifa and some poor finishing saw the Tunisians leave the first leg with a draw.

The draw will force the Kenyan envoys to win away to advance to the group stage. Ugandan side, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) forced to a goalless draw in Addis Ababa against Ethiopian giants, Saint George, on 7 March.

The draw gives KCCC high hopes to win in Kampala this weekend. El Hilal of Sudan must score three goals in Khartoum if they want to advance over As Togo from Togo after losing 2-0 in Lome last week.

The same task faces Rayon Sports of Rwanda who drew 0-0 with Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in Kigali. They must win away in South Africa if they want to play at the Group level. CECAFA is assured of one team at CAF Confederation Cup between Olympic of Burundi and El Hilal Obeid of Sudan who drew 0-0 in their first leg match held in Bujumbura.

But the Tanzania envoys, Simba face a tough test in Port Said, Egypt when they face tricky hosts, Al Masry this weekend. Simba were forced to a 2-2 draw in Dar es Salaam last Wednesday. Sudan’s Al Ahly Shandy are in a deep trouble as they must score at least four goals to advance over La Mancha of Congo, who won 3-0 in Brazzaville. Both tournaments will be staged this weekend in various venues.

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