Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the group stage of the CAF Champions League, after drawing 1-1 with Kampala Capital City Authority in a first round, second leg fixture at the Lugogo Stadium in Kampala, Uganda on Saturday afternoon.
Second half substitute Anthony Laffor got the all-important goal for the visitors with ten minutes of the match remaining, to give the South African side a 3-2 win on aggregate, following their 2-1 victory over the Ugandan club in Atteridgeville last Friday.
Sundowns’ hearts were in their mouths for much of the match, after Ugandan striker Geoffrey Sserekuma, who played for Cape side Vasco da Gama in the Absa Premiership in 2011, had tapped home a cross from Brian Majwega in the 30th minute of the first half. Sserkuma also scored the away goal in Atteridgeville in the first leg.
The goal was against the run of play after the Kampala defence had been through a torrid time in dealing with the speed and quick passing play of skipper Hlompho Kekana, Thapelo Morena and Percy Tau.
Kampala goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan kept Sundowns out of several occasions in the match, most notably when he saved at point blank range from midfielder Themba Zwane in the 12th minute, and Kekana four minutes later. Tau too, could have been on the score-sheet but watched his shot deflect away off the wrong side of the Kampala goal post in the 34th minute.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was forced to make a change as early as the 10th minute, when centre back Wayne Arendse took a knock and was substituted by Guinea’s Bangaly Soumahoro, who put in a solid performance for the visitors. It was Soumahoro who had the ball in the back of the Kampala net in 26th minute only for the goal to be ruled offside.
Kampala played with almost their whole team behind the ball for much of the second half as they tried to hold out, with Kekana showing true leadership in setting up several attacking opportunities before Laffor’s late strike put an end to the Ugandan team’s participation in this year’s competition.