Set­backs for glory-seek­ing Ugan­dan tax­men

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY DAVID LEGGE

A sus­pen­sion and in­juries could thwart Ugan­dans Rev­enue Author­ity on Satur­day when they seek a shock CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup last-32 tri­umph over South Africans Or­lando Pi­rates.

The Kam­pala tax col­lec­tors lost the first leg 2-1 in Soweto last month, but a spec­tac­u­lar stop­page-time own-goal from South African Happy Jele gifted the east Africans an un­ex­pected life­line.

How­ever, Rev­enue coach Alex Is­abirye must do with­out banned striker Robert Ssen­tongo, scorer of three goals in the pre­lim­i­nary­round victory over Mala­gasy side Saint Michel.

And de­fender Dan Othieno (knee), mid­fielder Os­car Agaba (ham­string) and strik­ers Frank Ka­landa (malaria) and Peter Lwasa (an­kle) are bat­tling to be fit in time.

“I re­ally don’t see the four mak­ing it,” ad­mit­ted Is­abirye. “Their chances are no more than 40 per­cent.”

The coach was an­gered at hav­ing to ful­fill a na­tional league fix­ture four days be­fore fac­ing 1995 African cham­pi­ons Pi­rates.

But a poor pitch and highly mo­ti­vated Ugan­dans seek­ing con­tracts in the lu­cra­tive South African Premier­ship are fac­tors that could fa­vor Rev­enue Author­ity in the CAF sec­ond-tier com­pe­ti­tion.

Pi­rates are used to bil­liardtable smooth pitches and stars like mid­fielder Oupa Many­isa will not en­joy the hard, bumpy Man­dela Na­tional Sta­dium sur­face.

Many­isa and his team­mates must also con­front op­po­nents on the verge of their great­est African achieve­ment, and en­cour­aged by the chance to win a con­tract with a South African club.

Pi­rates de­feated Ugan­dans Ex­press 20 years ago en route to be­com­ing the only South African win­ners of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League.

That achieve­ment has not been forgotten by Ugan­dans, who rate the Soweto side among the best on the con­ti­nent and gave Rev­enue no chance of caus­ing an up­set.

But when Jele sent an un­stop­pable header past goal­keeper Brighton Mh­longo while try­ing to clear a cross, the tie took a dra­matic turn.

Rev­enue Author­ity are among five east African clubs in ac­tion this week­end with Tan­za­ni­ans Young Africans best placed to suc­ceed as they take a 5-1 lead over Plat­inum to Zim­babwe.

Mr­isho Ngasa and Burundian Hamis Tambwe are the Yanga dan­ger­men with both av­er­ag­ing a goal a game in three CAF out­ings this sea­son.

Su­danese Al-Ahly Shendy hold a 2-1 ad­van­tage over MK Etancheite that may not be suf­fi­cient to sur­vive the re­turn match in Kin­shasa.

Ethiopi­ans Dedebit and Rwan­dans Rayon Sports en­joy home ad­van­tage, but must wipe out twogoal deficits.

Dedebit con­front Nige­ri­ans Warri Wolves and Rayon tackle Egyp­tians Za­malek, the sec­ond most suc­cess­ful CAF club with nine ti­tles.

Ghana­ians Hearts of Oak, win­ners of the first Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup in 2004, bring a 2-1 lead over Sene­galese Olympique Ngor to M’Bour, 80 kilo­me­tres south of Dakar.

Swazi­land po­lice team Royal Leop­ard, shock pre­lim­i­nary-round win­ners over South Africans Wits, face a tough task in An­gola hav­ing been held 2-2 at home by Petro Atletico.

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