FUS Rabat vs KCCA
Kampala, Uganda| KCCAFC MEDIA| Suspended from Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club’s opening game of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup Group Stages tie against FUS Rabat, skipper Dennis Okot has a message for his teammates.
Okot wants to see KCCA FC players play their hearts out for the fans and the country at large, having faced a number of challenges before they qualified for this stage.
“Not so many people thought we would go out there and do it, get this far, and that kept on driving us to give our best,” Okot told www.kccafc.co.ug as the team left on Wednesday afternoon.
Confederation Cup group fixtures :
Matchday 1 (May 12-14)
Gp A: FUS Rabat (MAR) v KCCA (UGA), Club Africain (TUN) v Rivers Utd (NGR)
Gp B: CS Sfaxien (TUN) v Mbabane Swallows (SWZ), Platinum Stars (RSA) v Mouloudia Alger (ALG)
Gp C: Zesco Utd (ZAM) v Smouha (EGY), Recreativo Libolo (ANG) v Al Hilal Obeid (SUD)
Gp D: TP Mazembe (COD, holders) v CF Mounana (GAB), SuperSport Utd (RSA) v Horoya (GUI)
Matchday 2 (May 23-24)
Gp A: Rivers v FUS, KCCA v Africain
Gp B: Mouloudia v Sfaxien, Swallows v Platinum
Gp C: Hilal v Zesco, Smouha v Libolo
Gp D: Horoya v Mazembe, Mounana v SuperSport
Matchday 3 (June 2-4)
Gp A: KCCA v Rivers, FUS v Africain
Gp B: Swallows v Mouloudia, Sfaxien v Platinum
Gp C: Smouha v Hilal, Zesco v Libolo
Gp D: Mounana v Horoya, Mazembe v SuperSport
Matchday 4 (June 20-21)
Gp A: Rivers v KCCA, Africain v FUS
Gp B: Mouloudia v Swallows, Platinum v Sfaxien
Gp C: Hilal v Smouha, Libolo v Zesco
Gp D: Horoya v Mounana, SuperSport v Mazembe
Matchday 5 (June 30-July 2)
Gp A: KCCA v FUS, Rivers v Africain
Gp B: Swallows v Sfaxien, Mouloudia v Platinum
Gp C: Smouha v Zesco, Hilal v Libolo
Gp D: Mounana v Mazembe, Horoya v SuperSport
Matchday 6 (July 7-9)
Gp A: FUS v Rivers, Africain v KCCA
Gp B: Sfaxien v Mouloudia, Platinum v Swallows
Gp C: Zesco v Hilal, Libolo v Smouha
Gp D: Mazembe v Horoya, SuperSport v Mounana
Note: group winners and runners-up qualify for quarter-finals
— KCCA FC (@KCCAFC) May 12, 2017
Zesco can win CAF Cup, says star Ching’andu
Zesco United emerged as an African club force last season and believe they can become the first Zambian winners of the CAF Confederation Cup this year.
“If we believe in each other we can lift the trophy,” said John Ching’andu ahead of their opening Group C game at home to Smouha of Egypt Saturday.
The 23-year-old goal poacher bagged a brace as Zesco reached the mini-league phase by outplaying Enugu Rangers of Nigeria 3-0 at home.
United had demonstrated an encouraging never-say-die spirit in the first leg, recovering from two goals behind to force a 2-2 draw.
The convincing overall triumph against Enugu came after Ndola-based Zesco stunned Africa last year by reaching the CAF Champions League semi-finals.
Serb coach Zlatko Krmpotic shares the optimism of Ching’andu while believing Smouha will pose a greater threat than Recreativo Libolo of Angola or Al Hilal Obeid of Sudan.
“Smouha are a good team who I know from my days as assistant coach of TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We beat them 2-0 away and 1-0 at home in the CAF Champions League, but they were no pushovers and deserve respect.”
While Zesco were eliminating Enugu with greater ease than anticipated, Smouha edged South African Premiership leaders Wits in a one-goal tie settled by a penalty.
Zesco are among four seeded clubs with title-holders Mazembe and former Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.
All launch their six-matchday group campaigns with home fixtures and should make winning starts in pursuit of top-two finishes and quarter-finals places.
FUS host Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the first Ugandan club to qualify for the group stage of a CAF competition.
KCCA came close to shocking title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the Champions League before being demoted to the Confederation Cup.
Mazembe, the second most successful club in CAF competitions with 10 titles, tackle CF Mounana of Gabon in a clash between two other Champions League drop-outs.
Mbabane Swallows, the first Swaziland club to make a CAF group stage, have a challenging start away to record three-time Confederation Cup winners Sfaxien.
The Tunisians scored seven unanswered goals in two previous home victories and Karim Aouadhi and Senegalese Mohamed Ndoye score consistently.
Like the CAF Champions League, the Confederation Cup group phase has been expanded this year for eight clubs to 16 and the prize money increased.
Additional reporting by AFP