The teams will clash again on September 17 to determine who will advance to the second preliminary round
Uganda’s Caf Champions League ambassadors Express FC won 2-1 in the first leg against Al Merreikh of Sudan in a match played at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
Erick Kambale and Martin Kizza scored for the winners of the Ugandan Premier League, while Bakri Elgadir found the back of the net in favor of the visitors.
Although the Red Eagles started the game slowly, they scored an opening shot in the sixth minute when Kambale – with the help of Kizza – managed to beat Al Merreikh’s goalkeeper, Monged Abuzaid, from close range.
The visitors won a free kick in the seventh minute, Express stopped them and launched a counter-attack, but Godfrey Lwesibawa was marked off after being caught in an outside position when he was about to enter the 18-meter box.
Another counterattack by Express came in the 26th minute when Muzamiru Mutyaba and Kizza moved forward. Mutyaba tried to find Kizza with a final cross, but the latter could not make contact with the ball that went out.
A persistent Al Merreikh restored the equalizer in the 38th minute when Elgadir went home after winning a corner kick delivered by Tony Omayarue.
Express made a change in the 55th minute when George Senkaaba substituted for Muzamiru Mutyaba, and four minutes later they regained the lead when Kizza rushed off with the help of Lwesibawa.
Al Merreikh’s Mohamed Mahmoud and Ahmed Mahmoud come on in the 70th minute before Hashim Mohamed and Mahmoud Salaheldin replace Express’ Joseph Akandwanaho in Lwesibawa.
Al Merreikh’s further changes took place in the 82nd minute – when Tajeldin replaced Badawi Ahmed Ahmed while Abd Elrahman came on for Omayarue – but it could not help much as Express defended hard and eventually emerged as the winners of the first leg from the entered into struggle.
Express XI: Joel Mutakubwa, Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu, Murushid Juuko, Daniel Shabena, Yaya Kakooza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Martin Kizza, Erick Kambale.
Subs: Denis Otim, Denis Mubuya, Joseph Akandwanaho, Charles Musiige, John Byamukama, Abel Eturude, George Senkaaba, John Byamukama.
Al Merrikh XI: Salman Monged, Ahmed Ahmed, Suliman Amir, Ahmed Mohamed, Mahmoud Salaheldin, Musa Mahjoub, Mohamed Idris, Elsamani Saadelin, Hussein Al-Gozoli, Bakri Elgadir, Tony Omayarue.
Subs: Mohamed Mohamed, Mohamed Mahamoud, Wagdi Abd Alla, Ahmed Mahmoud, Tajeldin Badawi, Ahmed Yousif, Abd Hassan.