St George vs KCCA
Muzamir Mutyaba did put in 80 minutes on his return from injury in KCCA’s 1-0 win over Soana in the Azam Uganda Premier League (AUPL) on Saturday; and while he admits he is far from near-perfection, the midfielder is itching for more action.
But there is one aspect he hinted on in an interview with the Daily Monitor ahead of the trip to Ethiopia that stood out.
“St George is no longer the intimidating force they were,” said Mutyaba, “We have the advantage of starting well in Addis Ababa and finishing off the job at home where we are yet to lose.”
KCCA face the Ethiopians tomorrow in the first leg of the Caf Champions League first round in Addis Ababa looking to draw first blood ahead of the return in Kampala.
And Mutyaba believes they can actually get a positive result from Addis.
But it is the certainty; almost dismissive conviction that St George are no longer the domineering Ethiopian side.
He is hardly far off. Fifteen matches into the Ethiopian Premier League season and the champions are fourth on the table on 23 points, six and one match behind leaders Dedebit. In comparison, KCCA are second on the Ugandan log on 36 points, one fewer than leaders SC Villa after 18 matches.
But that is not what is worrying the Ethiopians. What could be troubling them is they face KCCA at a time when they cannot even buy victory.
The 29-time record champions, eight of them coming in the last 10 years, have not won any match in their last five games.
Actually, their last victory came on January 17, a 2-0 away win at Fasil Ketema.
KCCA have three wins, one defeat and a one in their last five. “I know if we play the way we play, we shall go to Addis Ababa and pick a good result,” said Mutebi.
Does their poor form make St George vulnerable or even more dangerous now? “I think St George remain favourites,” said former KCC winger Fredrick Musisi Kiyingi, “For me they have more experience on the continent.”
Perhaps. While KCCA dropped from the Champions League to go on and reach the group stage of the Confederation Cup last season, St George achieved the same feat in the Champions League.
That said, who strikes first in Addis Ababa could give us a hint where this will go.
Seeing how KCCA came within a whisker of qualification last year, they will hope to bury those demons will an imposing first leg showing.