Esperance de Tunis defeated KCCA by the odd goal in five in the teams’ CAF Champions League Group A match at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Tuesday night.
The victory sees the Tunisians strengthen their grip on top spot, taking them to seven points from three matches and opening up a three-point lead over second-placed Al Ahly, who beat Township Rollers in a concurrent match in Alexandria.
Kampala defied their underdog status by claiming a 2-0 lead within the opening quarter: Jackson Nunda put the East Africans in the 19th minute and shortly thereafter an own goal from Khalil Chemmam saw the East Africans into a strong position.
Esperance pulled a goal back just past the half hour mark through Belel Magri, and on 33 minutes they were level at 2-2 thanks to Saad Bguir. The Tunisians were strong in attack and regularly tested goalkeeper Charles Lukwago, while KCCA faded as a threat as the half wore on.
The Blood and Gold always looked likely to complete the comeback, though they had to be very patient, waiting until the 82nd minute before Magri struck again to make it 3-2 and put his side on course for victory.
The reverse match between the teams will be played at Mandela National Stadium in Kira on July 28.
Esperance de Tunis (2) 3 (Magri 31’ 82’, Bguir 33’)
KCCA (2) 2 (Nunda 19’, Shaban 21’)
Esperance: Ben Cherifa, Badri (Jouini 77’), Belaili (Khenissi 85’), Bguir (Chaalali 76’), Chemmam, Coulibaly, Derbali, Dhaouadi, Kom, Mejri, Rabii
KCCA: Lukwago, Abubakar (Kirabira 60’), Saddam, Awanyi, Kizza, Mutyaba, Muwanga, Nunda, Okello (Musana 80’), Poloto, Shaban (Obenchan 70’)