united edged out of africa

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Gavin Hunt, SuperSport United coach was left dazed and speechless minutes after his team got themselves out of the African Champions League.

United, who had declared their intentions to do well in Africa, needed to win this match, instead, they lost 3-2 on aggregate to a team they'd comprehensively outplayed.

Kampala City Council (KCC) were therefore gifted a passage to the group stages and will battle Sudanese champions Al Merreikh next.

Matsatsantsa now get to do what is comfortable, and that is to focus on their race to retain the R10-million Absa Premiership title.

Opportunities to beat KCC were plentiful as the South Africans outclassed them from the first whistle only to direct tame efforts at the visiting keeper Benjamin Ochan.

Brent Carelse, who strained his hamstring during warm up and was forced to watch from the bench, was sorely missed.

While many would lay the blame for the goal that cancelled substitute Mulondo Sikhwhivhilu's 57th minute goal at André Arendse's door, Anthony Laffor and Glen Salmon in particular could have played their part by converting their chances.

The sending off of KCC captain Samuel Mubiru in the 87th minute also failed to benefit United.

"All those chances went to waste. If you think that was bad, you should have seen how many we missed in the first leg," said a disappointed Hunt.

Hunt went on to lambast "sloppy defending", which led to Anthony Bongole's goal in the 79th minute.

The gleeful KCC coach George Nsimbe, hailed his team as warriors and said the difference between his side and the hosts was that they were "more talented".

"SuperSport, however are more organised. It is a good feeling and we are looking forward to our next match against Al Merreikh," said Bongole.

This loss should go a long way to debunking perception that South African teams fail because the draw always takes them to their opponents' home grounds thus giving them an unfair advantage.