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Caf Champions League: Vipers SC can still turn it around vs Al-Hilal – Kajoba

The Venoms’ tactician remains confident they still have time to rectify mistakes and put up a better display away from home

Vipers SC coach Fred Kajoba is still confident they will make it to the next stage of the Caf Champions League despite losing their first leg match 1-0 against Al-Hilal of Sudan on Saturday.

The Venoms, who were making a return to the continental competition after being crowned Ugandan Premier League (UPL) when the season was prematurely ended last season owing to coronavirus pandemic, failed to utilise home ground advantage as the Sudanese outfit scored through Bakhiet Hamid’s scorcher in the 25th minute to carry the day.

Despite the disappointing result at St. Mary’s Kitende, coach Kajoba believes it is not over yet and insists if they can rectify some of the mistakes he noticed in the first leg contest, then they can still win comfortably away to make it to the next round.

“It is disappointing that we couldn’t get the result we wanted,” Kajoba said as quoted by the club’s official website. “We shall go back and reflect on where we didn’t do well.

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“We still have the return leg next week and there’s a chance we can go there and look for a better result.”

On Saturday, Kajoba handed debuts to three players – defender Disan Galiwango, midfielder Jamil Kalisa, and striker Cesar Manzoki – while goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora started in goal with Bashir Asiku at right-back, Galiwango on the left while skipper Halid Lwaliwa and Geoffrey Wasswa completed the backline.

Siraje Ssentamu was tasked to provide cover to the backline, playing alongside Kalisa and Karim Watambala in the midfield, with Manzoki leading the line, Abraham Ndugwa and Milton Karisa also offered support in the three-man attack.

However, the team should blame themselves for not getting even a goal from the match as they squandered many scoring chances, especially in the first half of the match.

Both Kalisa and Manzoki missed the target by a few inches as Vipers kept pushing for the equalizer after they had gone behind, and they also had a shout for a penalty when Galiwango’s cross seemed to have come off the hand of one of Al Hilal’s defenders, but it was ruled as a goal-kick.

The return leg is slated for December 6 in Khartoum and the winner on aggregate will face either Ghana’s Asante Kotoko or FC Noudhibou from Mauritania.

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