Caf Champions League Group A Review: Esperance book quarter-final spot with win over KCCA, Al Ahly complete double over Rollers

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The first game of the 2018 Caf Champions League League Group A match day four featured Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC and Esperance de Tunis.

The two teams locked horns at the Mandela National Stadium in Uganda's second largest city, Kira on Saturday afternoon.

Nicknamed the Garbage Collectors, KCCA were wounded having lost 3-2 to two-time Champions League winners Esperance in the Tunisian Harbour City of Rades almost two weeks ago.

The Garbage Collectors were without their star forward Muhammad Shaban, who is currently undergoing trials at South African giants Orlando Pirates. 

The former Ugandan champions conceded four minutes before the half-time break and it was Haythem Jouini, who scored to make it 1-0 to Esperance with Ghilane Chalali grabbing an assist.

KCCA tried to push for the equalizing goal, but the reigning Tunisian champions were solid and organized at the back with Chamseddine Dhaouadi marshaling their defence.

However, the hosts suffered a blow in the closing stages of the game as their goalkeeper Charles Lukwago was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.

Esperance were then able to hold on to their slender lead against 10-man KCCA in the closing stages of the game and ultimately, the visitors emerged 1-0 winners on the day.

The second game of the day featured Township Rollers and record eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly which was played at the National Stadium in the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone.

Reigning Botswana champions Rollers were seeking vengeance having lost 3-0 defeat to Al Ahly in an encounter which was played in the Egyptian city of Alexandria over a week ago.

The Blues welcomed back their star forward Lemponye Tshireletso, who missed the clash against Egyptian champions Al Ahly.

The score was 0-0 at the interval following a tightly contested first half with Rollers having contained their much-fancied visitors.

Tshireletso was unfortunate not to hand the Blues the lead after the restart as his well-taken shot was brilliantly saved by Egypt international and Al Ahly goalkeeper  Mohamed El Shenawy.

Rollers, who had failed to convert their chances in the second half, were left to rue their missed opportunities as Salif Coulibaly scored with a header to make it 1-0 to Al Ahly with nine minutes to go.

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Al Ahly then stood firm at the back in the latter stages of the game and ultimately, they ran out 1-0 winners over Rollers on the night.

Saturday's results saw Esperance maintain their lead at the top of Group A  to book their place in the quarter-finals of Africa's most prestigious club tournament. 

Al Ahly remained second on the table - three points behind Esperance, while Rollers and KCCA are placed third and fourth respectively with two games to go.