Hundreds gathered at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende as the Uganda Premier League reigning champions Vipers Sports Club hosted Sudanese side El Merriekh in the CAF Champions League preliminary round.
Vipers, who lost the first leg in Sudan by 2-1 needed nothing short of a victory to progress to the next stage of the continental competition.
Head coach Javier Martinez Espinoza named a strong attack-minded lineup but his side’s efforts yielded no positive result in the opening 45 minutes as it ended in a goalless draw with forward Tito Okello missing a golden opportunity to put his side into the lead.
The high intensity of the game saw Brian Nkuubi and Geoffrey Wasswa get booked in the 25th and 31st minutes respectively.
Early into the second half, Abraham Ndugwa sent the crowds into joyous celebrations when he netted in the 46th minute to give the hosts a deserved lead that eventually turned out to be the match winner.
The 1-0 victory for the Venoms brought the aggregate score to a 2-2 draw but the Ugandan hosts progress to the next round of the competition on away goal’s rule.
The three-time Uganda Premier League champions will now battle it out with the aggregate winner between Gambia’s Gamtel and CS Constantine of Algeria.
Team Line Ups:
Vipers XI: Bashir Ssekagya (G.K), Livingstone Mulondo, Yayo Kato Lutimba, Halid Lwaliwa, Geoffrey Wasswa, Tadeo Lwanga (Captain), Brian Nkuubi, Moses Waiswa Ndhondhi (59’ Noah Wafula), Abraham Ndugwa (59’ Davis Kasirye), Tito Okello (88’ Ibrahim Kiyemba), Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma
Subs Not Used: Derrick Ochan (G.K), Joseph Jjanjali, Brian Kalumba, Tom Masiko
El Merreikh XI: Abuzaid Salman Monged (G.K), Mohamed Mahamoud, Khaled Taha, Mohamed Abdel Rahman Yousif, Ahmed Mahmoud, Dhiya Musa, Salaheldin Nemer, Amir Kamal Suliman, Ahmed Ahmed, Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Idris, Ramadan Agab Sherief
Subs:Esam Eldin Abdulrahim Shamila (G.K), Yasir Gabir, Bakri, Babeker,Hamza Zakaria, Tajeldin Elnour Badawi, Tag Abdel Rahim, Mohamed Hagar Ali,Mohamed Idris, Ali Aboeshren, Saifeldin Malik Bakhit Maki, Boubacar Moumouni Abdoul Magid, Mohamed Abdallah
Center Referee: Abdoul Karim Twagiramukiza (Rwanda)
Assistant Referee 1: Dieudonne Mutumyimana (Rwanda)
Assistant Referee 2: Honore Simba (Rwanda)
Fourth Official: Louis Hakizimana (Rwanda)
Commissioner: Mzee Zam Ali (Tanzania)
FT: Vipers SC 1-0 El Merriekh
(Aggregate score 2-2)