KCCA boss Mutebi remains optimistic

Caf Champions League

Saturday Group A results

KCCA 0-1 Esperance

Township Rollers 0-1 Al Ahly

KCCA manager Mike Mutebi admits that Caf Champions League quarterfinal hopes were hugely dented by Esperance’s 1-0 victory at Namboole on Saturday but remains adamant the fight is still on.

Haythem Jouini’s first half goal was enough for the visitors to complete a double over KCCA, the first leg of this Group A match having ended 3-2 in Esperance’s favour in Tunis just over a week ago.

But Mutebi still picked positives from the game. “It was a good match,” he said, “Efficiency was the difference. They took care of their chances, we didn’t.

“But overall, good advertisement for African football and for KCCA as an emerging force. Not a good result for us but I’m impressed with the players’ spirit.

“We faced a very experienced side who gave us a good match. They didn’t come here to sit back. They came at us but respected us, and we were also not afraid to play. So it was a good match.”

Defeat leaves both KCCA and Botswana’s Township Rollers, who also lost 1-0 to Egypt’s Al Ahly, bottom on three points apiece after four matches.

But Mutebi believes they are still in with a fighting chance, although that will mean KCCA winning their remaining two matches and hope Al Ahly don’t.

“Of course now chances are slim but the belief is still there. We shall continue competing with the best and will try to win the remaining two games.”

Esperance top Group A on 10 points with only two games to go while Ahly are second on seven.

Ahly’s win meant Esperance qualified for the last eight. The Egyptians are better placed to join them.