Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman knocked out Uganda Premier League side Vipers SC from the 2020/21 CAF Champions League qualifiers after registering a 1-0 victory at the Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman.
Muhamad Musa scored the only goal of the game and extended Hilal’s advantage who carried a first leg advantage after picking up a 1-0 victory over the Venoms in Kampala on Saturday last week.
Vipers’ chase for their first appearance in Africa’s premier club competition’s group stages hung by a thread, and their challenge in the return leg was dealt a huge blow after six players.
Five of which started the first leg were ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus ahead of the second leg.
Captain Halid Lwaliwa, AbdulKarim Watambala, Geoffrey Wasswa, Milton Kariisa, Abraham Nduggwa and Livingstone Mulondo tested positive for COVID-19.
By virtue of the absentees, head coach Fred Kajoba was forced into five changes with only goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora, Bashir Asiku, Siraje Ssentamu, Jamil Kaliisa, Cesar Manzoki and Dissan Galiwango retaining their places.
Ibrahim Orit who was menacing in the first leg and David Bagoole were handed their full debuts on the day.
Rashid Toha made his first appearance for the club in over a year in defence together with Aziz Kayondo who missed the first leg as he was involved with the Uganda Hippos in the CECAFA U20 championship and Asiku in a three-man midfield.
Dan Sserunkuuma who came on in the second half at Kitende started alongside Ceaser Manzoki upfront.
Both teams shared possession in the early minutes, but Hilal created the better chances on the counter attack. Vinnie Combi and Walid El Shoala who scored in the first leg failed to capitalise on glorious opportunities early on.
Vipers’ chances came after the 30th minute, Ibrahim Orit set up Sserunkuuma but the striker placed his shot just wide of the target.
Moments later, Kaliisa failed to capitalise on a lose ball inside the area with Hilal goalkeeper Abdallah Eshrin recovering well to keep out the shot after the midfielder hesitated to take on the shot.
In the 65th minute, Musa pounced on Kaliisa’s lose back pass to slot home past the advancing Mutombora and put the encounter beyond Vipers’ reach.
There was no way back for Kajoba’s men who look void of inspiration and ideas in front of goal and struggled to impose themselves on the ball especially in the second half.
Vipers’ best chance of the game came in the 90th minute, after Eshrin fumbled a long throw-in from debutant Joseph Dhata but Bagoole’s shot was cleared off the line.
Vipers will now focus on defending their Uganda Premier League crown and will kickstart their 2020/21 league campaign underway against Express FC on Wednesday, December 9.
How they lined up
Vipers SC XI: Fabien Mutombora (GK), Bashir Asiku, Rashid Toha, Aziz Kayondo, Siraje Ssentamu (C), Jamil Kalisa, David Bagoole, Ibrahim Orit, Cesar Manzoki, Dan Sserunkuma, Disan Galiwango
Subs: Bashir Ssekagya, Denis Kiggundu, Joseph Dhata, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Paul Mucureezi, Najib Yiga
Al Hilal SC XI: Ali Abdullah Eshrin (GK), As-Samula Mirghani, Muhammad Ouattara, Al-Tayeb Abdel-Razek, Faris Abdullah, Abu Aqla Abdullah, Nizar Hamed, Eid Presentier, Walid El Shoala, Vinnie Combi, Muhamad Musa