Coaches Matia Lule and Mike Mutebi were 100% at fault when their clubs were consecutively dumped out of the CAF Confederations Cup over the weekend.
Lule, whose Proline FC needed any win or a draw of fewer than two goals was beaten 0-2 by Libyan Outfit Al Nasser Benghazi at the Startimes Stadium Lugogo despite securing a 2-2 away draw on neutral ground in Alexandria, Egypt.
Lule’s undoing was opting to defend too early, which led his team to concede too early in the game- just after five minutes. Many pundits questioned his tactics, despite going down early he continued to play a more conservative defensive game that led his team to concede a second goal when he tried to open up while seeking for an equalizer.
The two goals from Almaryami Khalid and Ibrahim Osama helped the Benghazi based side secure a spot in the last 16 of the CAF Confederations Cup, ensuring that the Ugandan side missed out on the money prize of about Ush 1 billion.
The same thing pundits believe could have led to Kampala Capital City Authority FC exit is their failure to defend an away goal that could have ensured their progression.
The Kasasiro Boys, just like Proline FC, conceded early at the Stade 5 Juillet Stadium in Algiers but were able to equalize shortly after through Allan Okello.
This is where pundits believe the Coach’s tactical approach must have counted more for either to be conservative and catch the opponents on the break or ‘play our way’ as Coach Mike Mutebi usually calls it.
‘Playing our way’ led to a total humiliation of the Kasasiro Boys being thumped 4-1 and showed the exit doors for an opportunity to concentrate on the Startimes Uganda Premier League, in which, they are the defending champions. They, just like Proline, lost out on a Cash Bonanza of Ush1billion.
Proline, who were first-timers on the continent and in the tournament, progressed after winning over Rwandan side AS Kigali and Masters Security from Malawi.
Surprisingly, KCCA FC was eliminated by Algerian debutants FC Paradou to write history as they reached the Total CAF Confederation Cup group stage.
Paradou who were having their maiden CAF campaign continued their “giant-killing” instinct to reach the group stage after going past Guinean outfit Kamsar, record CAF Confederation Cup champions, Sfaxien of Tunisia and KCCA of Uganda.
The Algerians took an early lead through Salaheddine Herrari after just nine minutes but had to deal with a scare when Allan Okello equalized for the Ugandan champions after 23 minutes.
But Paradou restored their lead seven minutes before the recess when Yousri Bouzouk made it 2-1 in Algiers.
After the break, it was all one way, as the newcomers added two more goals in the space of five minutes. Abdelkader Kadri scored after 65 minutes to make it 3-1 on the night, and just five minutes later Aimen Biugera scored the fourth to send his side to the group stage in grand style.
Manager Mike Mutebi’s charges on their official website said they will refocus on the retaining the Startimes Uganda Premier League and other local competitions in order to return to continental football next season.
However, it was not only the Ugandan teams that suffered exits as there is no East African team left in the CAF Confederations cup. Kenya’s Bandari FC lost out to Horoya of Guinea while FC Pyramids eliminated Tanzania’s Young Africans.
The other team that still had some hope was Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC, which hope was extinguished by Darling Motema Pombe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pyramids, El Masry (Egypt), Enyimba, Rangers (Nigeria), RS Berkane, HUSA (Morocco), Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Horoya (Guinea), Zanaco (Zambia), San Pedro (Cote d’Ivoire), El Nasr (Libya), Djoliba (Mali), Motema Pembe (DR Congo), Bidvest Wits (South Africa), Paradou (Algeria).
BY FRANK SEMATA