By: Sinan Rajub Senoga
Madagascan champions CNaPS Sport left it late to edge Ugandan side KCCA 2-1 in the first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round at the Vontovorona Stadium in Antananarivo.
The two sides had played to an end-to-end but goalless first half of the game with KCCA having the best goal scoring attempts through skipper Timothy Awany and striker Derrick Nsibambi.
Nsibambi had found the back of the net with 22 minutes played on the clock but his goal was ruled offside by the linesman whereas Awany’s header off a Mustafa Kizza corner kick hit the cross bar before being cleared off the line in the 38th minute.
The home side made the first change of the game as striker Lucien Kassimo was brought on for Milison Niasexe at the start of second half. 3 minutes later, KCCA tactician Mike Mutebi also brought on Paul Mucurezi for Allan Okello.
In the 53rd minute, Derrick Nsibambi finally broke the deadlock for KCCA with a cool finish from a Julius Poloto cross from the right hand side of attack.
However, KCCA’s lead short lived when Fenosoa Ratolojanahary sent Charles Lukwago the wrong way in a spot kick following a Filbert Obenchan handball in the box 7 minutes later.
Saddam Juma was then introduced for Lawrence Bukenya in the 77th minute while Shaban Muhammad was withdrawn for defender Denis Okot with 3 minutes left to normal time.
The game seemed projected for a draw until the 3rd minute of stoppage time when the hosts took the lead through a Francis Rafaralahy header condemning the KCCA to a 2-1 defeat.
The two sides will tussle it out in the 2nd leg at Lugogo on February 21st with the aggregate winner destined to take on Ethiopian giants St. George or South Sudan champions Al Salam Wau.
CNaPS XI; Andriamalala, Ratolojanahary, Manampisoa, Niasexe, Rafaralahy, Bourahim, Rajaonarivelo, Sandratriniaina, Miandrisoa, Rasoanaivoarison, Andrianavalona (C).
KCCA XI; Lukwago, Kavuma, Awany (C), Obenchan, Kirabira, Bukenya, Kiiza, Poloto, Okello, Shaban, Nsibambi.