KCCA FC goalkeeper and captain Charles Lukwago endured a horrific afternoon as he conceded a flimsy penalty as they were knocked out of the Stanbic Uganda Cup.
The Kasasiro Boys whose only shot at a title this season was much in their control after playing to a goalless draw in the first leg, but were knocked out on away goals after playing to a 1-1 draw in the second leg at the MTN Omondi Stadium on Friday.
KCCA were made to defend for much of the game as they took the lead through Sadat Anaku’s sumptuous curling effort in the first half.
But with the game ticking on, Lukwago conceded a penalty from a flimsy off the ball incident involving forward Charles Musiige.
Former KCCA forward Martin Kizza stepu up to bury the penalty which Lukwago had a hand to but failed to keep out as he was made to pay for his costly error.
KCCA had a better start to the game, dominating possession and committing men forward at will, leaving Wasswa Bbosa’s men struggling to get out of their half at times.
Express’ struggles early on forced Bbosa into an uncharacteristic early substitution, withdrawing holding midfielder Daniel Shabena for Mahad ‘Yaya’ Kakooza after only 24 minutes.
On an evening where fans were once again denied access to stadiums following the rising cases of the coronavirus, KCCA found the inner spirit to fight tooth and neck against the league leaders.
Anaku glanced Moses Aliro’s cross wide of the target and was inches away from tucking away Herbert Achai’s low cross.
Sam Ssenyonjo’s mazy run into the box was stopped by Issa Lumu, who stood between him and Denis Otim’s goal, while Gift Ali shot just wide of the target.
Anaku then produced a sublime moment, curling his shot over Otim to give Morley Byekwaso’s side the lead in the tie in the 42nd minute.
Express remained dangerous on the counter with Godfrey Lwesibawa shooting over the crossbar, as Lukwago had only routine saves to make for the opening half.
After the half-time break, Anaku almost extended KCCA’s lead with another sublime volley inside the area that sailed inches wide of the target.
Express captain Enock Walusimbi wasted a fine chance, firing wide of the target on one of the occasions the Red Eagles breached an impressive KCCA backline.
With KCCA seemingly doing just enough to warrant a semi-final slot, Lukwago produced a moment of regret as he elbowed Musiige after catching Lwesibawa’s cross.
Lukwago’s error, which adds to his mistake against Express at Lugogo, and one at Wankulukuku last season surely left KCCA with much to do as Kizza reeled off to celebrate his equaliser.
Express progress to the semi-finals where they are likely to face one of Vipers SC, Police FC and BUL Bidco FC with the prospect of a first final in 13 years within their sight.
How both teams lined up:
KCCA FC XI: Charles Lukwago (GK), Moses Aliro, Herbert Achai, Samuel Kato, Musa Ramathan, Hassan Musana, Gift Ali, Sam Ssenyonjo, Sadat Anaku, Ashraf Mugume, Kezironi Kizito
Express FC XI: Denis Otim (Gk), Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu, Murushid Juuko, Mahad Yaya, Daniel Shabena, Charles Musiige, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Martin Kizza, Mustafa Kiragga