Striker Emmanuel Okwi finally broke the ice with his first goal for Al-Ittihad Alexandria as they defeated Ismaily 3-0 in the Egyptian Premier League at the weekend.
The Uganda Cranes’ forward not only scored the second in the 42nd minute but, also picked up the man-of-match award at the Haras El-Hodod Stadium on Saturday.
“God you are above everything,” a jubilant Okwi posted. “To quit is not an option,” he said. The moment comes in after a week he was nominated to the 20-man shortlist for the Caf Inter-Clubs Player of the Year Award.
In the Caf Champions League group stage openers, Al-Hilal custodian Salim Jamal is the only Ugandan player who had playing time at the weekend.
Jamal would have walked away with a clean sheet but he made an error which triggered racial abuses from fans as his club defeated Zimbabwean club FC Platinum 2-1 at the Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman.
“Congratulations for the three points in our first game and I apologize for the mistake, that shows am also a human being,” Jamal reacted in a post on Facebook.
He had been beaten by a free-kick from Never Tigere with nine minutes left on the clock, leaving them on tenterhooks in the clocking stages.
“I know I am the only professional player currently in the club and much is expected from me.
I apologise for the reactions against some fans, negative words and also in front of my teammates, hope we swallow our hatred and focus on the targets of the club. Respect!” he added.
Uganda Cranes’ skipper Denis Onyango wasn’t in goal as South African club Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Angola’s Petro de Luanda 3-0 in Group C. In the Caf Confederation Cup, winger Abdu Lumala made the trip to Nigeria with his club Pyramids but did not feature because of small knock on his knee as they won 3-1 at Enugu Rangers in Group A.
Egyptian club Pyramids, tutored by former Cranes coach Sebastian Desabre, have won four matches in a row away in the competition with the chartered flights being the big catalyst.
TOTAL CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Primeiro de Agosto (ANG) 1-1 ZESCO (ZAM)
TP Mazembe (DRC) 3-0 Zamalek (EGY)
Al Hilal (SUD) 2-1 FC Platinum (ZIM)
USM Alger (ALG) vs. Wydad Casablanca (MAR)
Sundowns (RSA) vs. Petro de Luanda (ANG)
TOTAL CAF CONFEDERATION CUP
GROUP A: Enugu Rangers (NIG) 1-3 Pyramids (EGY)
GROUP B: RS Berkane (MAR) 3-0 ESAE (BEN)
GROUP C: Bidvest Wits (RSA) 0-0 Horoya (GUI)