Balinya, Kasumba face-off in Caf Champions League

Saturday September 14 2019

Ready. Ugandan midfielder Juma Balinya hopes to

Ready. Ugandan midfielder Juma Balinya hopes to score in front Yanga’s fans when they meet Zesco United today. COURTESY PHOTO 


Ugandans Juma Balinya and Umaru Kasumba will meet when their respective clubs Yanga of Tanzania and Zambia’s Zesco United clash in the first-leg of the Caf Champions League first round today.
“If feels good meeting a fellow Ugandan because we are representing our country,” Balinya told this paper on Thursday. “So I wish him a good game though I don’t want him to score because we really need this game,” he said.
“Zesco is a very good side that participate in this competition every year but I think we are at home, have the support and we are also a good side.”
Balinya and Kasumba are the only foreign-based Ugandans to score to in the competition this season.
Ex-Police and SC Villa forward Kasumba scored in the 2-0 first leg victory before assisting Jesse Were’s winner for a 3-0 aggregate with Eswatini’s Green Mamba.
Top scorer in the Uganda Premier League with 19 goals for Police last season, Balinya netted the winner away as Yanga went past Botswana’s Township Rollers 2-1 on aggregate in the preliminaries.
He is now hoping to do the same in front the yellow and green crowd at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
“When I scored that goal against Rollers, it was a good moment for me and for the whole team. I can’t wait to feel the same way on Saturday especially in front of the home fans,” the midfielder added.
Elsewhere, Uganda Cranes’ captain Denis Onyango is expected in goal when his South African club Mamelodi Sundowns visits little-known Seychelles’ side Cote d’Or at the Stade Linité in Victoria.
Another custodian Salim Jamal travelled west with Sudan club Al-Hilal for their contest with two-time champions Nigerian club Enyimba tomorrow. “Hard one,” Jamal described the encounter, “Allah is there,” he said.
Former Maroons striker George Abege is available for selection when Ghana’s Asante Kotoko hosts Tunisian outfit Etoile du Sahel in Kumasi.
In the Caf Confederation Cup, winger Abdul Lumala and his coach Desabre Sebastien hope to recover from Sunday’s Egypt Cup final defeat to Micho Sredojevic’s Zamalek when they host Algerian side CR Belouizdad.
Kenya’s Bandari, who have William Wadri and Fred Nkata, host Tunisia’s USM Ben Guerdane while Azam with Nicholas Wadada meets Zimbabwe’s Triangle at the Chamazi Stadium tomorrow.
Striker Patrick Kaddu who joined Moroccan club RSB Berkane is cap-tied until the next stage and won’t feature against Ghana’s Ashanti Gold because he played for KCCA against Namibia’s African Stars in the Champions League.