George BEST Nsimbe on Saturday saw his Kampala City Council side crash humiliatingly out of the CAF Orange Champions League preliminaries by Zambian champions Nkana FC and admitted to Red Pepper Online edition: ‘That’s the worst we’ve played before our fans.’
It was KCCA boss Nsimbe’s final chance to salvage some glory from a desperate second attempt at making the lucrative group stages, but goals from scored in each half through Claude Bwalya and Christopher Munthal at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
Nsimbe said: ‘We didn’t deserve to get that kind of humiliation. I’m was surprised and I take responsibility, we have to play better in the league now. The players are hurting.
Nkana will now face Egypt’s Zamalek, who eliminated Angola’s Kabuscorp 1-0 on aggregate, in the second round.
Both teams enjoyed numerous goal scoring opportunities but were equally guilty of squandering them.
KCCA should have scored thrice in the opening 20 minutes, Michael Birungi ghosting past three Nkana players only for his one-on-one effort to be stopped by the visitors’ goalkeeper Charles Mweemba.
The striker was again at it, beating his man on the edge of the area only to sky his effort with goalkeeper to beat. Shortly Tony Odur followed suit, the KCCA striker, who scored in the 2-2 first leg draw, released in the box but miscuing his shot.
The hosts were duly punished from the visitors’ first meaningful attack, going forward in numbers and orchestrating some neat interplay before Ronald Kampamba teed on Mwale to beat KCCA goalkeeper Salim Jamal to his right for a 30th minute lead.
Nsimbe’s KCCA returned rejuvenated, Odur winning a free kick on the edge of the area and Majwega, ho was also on target in the first leg, sending in a wonderful strike to level scores on 50 minutes.
At 1-1, KCCA would have progressed. But Nsimbe could not take chances, continuing the search for a second goal by introducing Herman Wasswa for defender Ibrahim Kizza.
But it is Nkana who instead took the lead on the hour, defender Munthali at the end of the ball punched by Jamal back into play after a dangerous free kick from outside the 18-yard area.
Nsimbe had hoped to end KCCA’a poor home form in the Champions League but in the end they had registered three straight home losses in their back yard, two of them in this year’s competition.
Local football analyst Ismael Kiyonga was scathing on www.kawowo.com , saying: “Though players didn’t do enough to force a result that would have seen the club advance to the next round, much portion of the blame go to coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe and his technical staff for failure to execute a tactical plan for the game.”
On three continental games at home in Kampala, Nsimbe has failed to win again and could as well face the sack.
Kiyonga added: “In the first place, he preferred Brian Majwega at left back in the presence of a ‘half fit’ Habib Kavuma who surprisingly made the bench.
“This deprived KCC FC of Majwega’s attacking prowess as he had to concentrate on defensive duties first before the offensive ones in which he thrives better.
“Majwega is KCC FC’s most creative player and playing him at left back cut short his side’s attacking force.
“If Kavuma was unfit in the first place, there was no reason for him to make the bench. Besides, Rogers Aloro and Ronnie Kisekka; defensive players who have featured there before would have been preferred choice with Majwega playing in front as a left winger.
“In addition, Nsimbe employed a central midfield of three defensive midfielders and worse enough, played Ivan Ntege as the offensive of the duo behind Tony Odur. This reminded me of how Uganda Cranes coach Mulitin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic preferred defensive minded Denis Iguma in a number 10 role at CHAN 2014 finals. Both Ntege and Iguma are defensive minded players who offer less going forward as compared to when played just in front of the back four. Ntege was simply out of place.
“Substitutions: At 1-1, Nsimbe withdrew central defender Ibrahim Kizza for striker Herman Wasswa. This left KCC FC with a back three before Ivan Ntege later permanently switched to right back and Malinga joined Fahad Kawooya at the heart of defence.
“This was suicidal against Nkana’s attacking force of Ronald Kampamba, Shadrack Musonda, Simon Bwalya and Claude Bwalya.
“No wonder, the Zambians created more scoring opportunities after this moment and were only denied by poor finishing and gallant goal keeping by Jamal Salim.
“As if this was not enough, Nsimbe’s next substitution was also for another central defender Fahad Kawooya; this time for another centre back Ronnie Kisekka.
“Though Kawooya was having an off day, withdrawing him for a fellow defender at 2-1 appeared more of damage limitation than going for goals.
“Nsimbe’s tactical errors earlier in the campaign: Against El Merriekh FC in both games, Nsimbe went for a front three of Herman Wasswa, William Wadri and Tony Odur. Though he got the desired result in the first leg, it cost him in the second since the trio is composed of naturally central strikers.
“In this system, Wasswa; a fox in the box was preferred out wide thus doing less to help the team since that is not his natural position. It was only after the introduction of Majwega and Michael Birungi for Wadri and Wasswa respectively that KCC FC’s game came back to life.
“In the first leg against Nkana FC, Nsimbe again started Wasswa on the right wing in a 4-4-2 with Majwega on the left. It was no surprise Wasswa was substituted in the first half for Tom Masiko as he failed to excellently execute duties on the flank.
“Besides, when Tom Masiko was shown marching orders, Nsimbe withdrew a defender; Sakka Mpiima for a defensive midfielder Hakim Senkumba. Luckily, it paid off as KCC FC didn’t concede again and managed to get a vital equalizer the other end.
“In football, you can survive with poor tactics and wrong team selection but it catches you at a point in time.