Every footballer has the moment that stands out in their career, some struggle to make up their minds on which moments standout from the others.
Not Vipers’ Abraham Ndugwa, the midfielder was the hero as Vipers’ won their 2018/2019 Total CAF Champions League preliminary round against El Merriekh.
The solitary 47th strike is all Vipers needed to knockout their visitors from Sudan 2-2 on aggregate and advance to the first round where they will meet Constantine of Algeria.
As important as the goal was for Vipers and an emerging player like Ndugwa, it doesn’t top list. “The moment ranks second to my goal on my Crane’s debut against Sao Tome and Principal,” he told Journalists in the post-match press conference.
Ndugwa continued to down play praises of him as an individual in a game that didn’t have any outstanding performers from the Ugandan league champions.
“The goal gives me confidence as player but the most important thing is that the team qualified to go to the next round.”
“Every goal gives me confidence as a player and it builds our momentum as a team,” he added.
On the other side of the coin, Vipers will count themselves lucky playing against a side that knew how to use the ball but were reluctant in execution.
Despite enjoying too much possession, El Merriekh’s first shot on target came after 55 minutes and by then they were a goal down.
“We were playing against a team that understands the better and know how to use the ball, so we had to absorb the pressure and try to contain them too. It’s never easy playing these kind of games,” Ndugwa noted.
Ndugwa and teammates will be required to step up going into the tie with Constantine, especially in the first leg since they won’t have their captain Taddeo Lwanga and defender Geoffrey Wasswa because of suspension.
Main photo caption: Abraham Ndugwa (M) joined by teammates Tito Okello (R) and Daniel Mzee Sserunkuma after scoring the winner against El Merriekh on Wednesday | Vipers SC Photo