Football

CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Express FC seek first leg advantage over Al Merreikh

The last time Al Merreikh came to Uganda they were beaten by Vipers SC 1-0 at St. Mary's Kitende. The Venoms went on progress to the second preliminary round on aggregate

  • Danito NSUBUGA 

Ugandan champions Express FC will this evening hope to start their continental expedition with a positive result as they aim to match or even better KCCA’s achievement as Uganda’s only participants in the CAF champions league stages.

The Kasasiro boys achieved the feat in 2018 and the reward was rubbing shoulders with Africa’s biggest boys Al Ahly and Esperance Tunis. Their group was completed by Nigeria’s Rivers United.

Express were handed a huge platform when they competed and won the CECAFA Kagame cup last month. The competition provided them with a big opportunity to taste cross boarder football which will be vital to their game approach against one of Africa’s best.

Al Merreikh are very familiar to the CAF champions league having been part of the competition 28 times and most recently in 2015, they reached the semi final stage.

Merreikh lost 1-0 to Vipers SC in December 2018

Their counterparts on the other hand last appeared in 1994.

Express FC head coach Wasswa Bbosa confirmed yesterday to the club media that he has a fully fit squad at his disposal, wingman Godfrey Lwesibawa has made a timely return to fitness and he is expected to play a key role. His pace, trickery and directness will.be match needed by the Red Eagels if they are to unlock Al Merreikh.

It has been reported that coach Antonio Garzito will be without the trio of Ramadhan Ahab, Bakhit Khamis and Seif Terry.

Today’s encounter will be the sixth meeting between the two sides with Al Merreikh taking a lion’s share of wins with four against Express’s one and a stalemate.

Match Officials.

Center Referee – Souleiman Ahmed Djama (Djibouti)

First Assistant Referee – Rachid Weis WAIS BOURALEH (Djibouti)

Second Assistant Referee – ROBLEH DIRIR Eleyeh ROBLEH (Djibouti)

Fourth Official – Mohamed Diraneh DIRANEH GUEDI. (Djibouti)

David Gikonyo Mwangi – Match Commissioner (Kenya)

Dr. James Ssekajugo – Covid-19 Officer (Uganda).

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