Ethiopian flag bearers Kidus Giorgis hosts Ugandan side Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) in the CAF Total Champions League first round decisive encounter in Addis Ababa.
The record Ethiopian champions are failing to put up a good performance that saw them go winless in five league ties including a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Hawassa Ketema last week.
Kidus Giorgis need to pass the KCCA challenge, if they are about to progress to the group stages of the Champions League. Meanwhile, the Ethiopian giants are not persuasive enough this season as they are six points adrift of league leaders Dedebit likewise the new style of play the Portuguese coach Manuel Vaz Pinto seek to implement is taking time to bare fruits. Assistant coach Zerihun Shengeta in his comment to Soccer Ethiopia regarding the style of play, he stated a change in head trainer brought a change in system. “We are now in a transition phase. Last season it was Mart Nooji now Vaz Pinto and the two have different approach to the game. Our style of play is different from last season. We need time to adapt to the system that we are putting up. Nonetheless, that does not mean we should not get positive results.”
The former Kidus Giorgis defender also noted that Kidus Giorgis know more about KCCA and what they might cause when the two sides meet later on in Addis Ababa. “We tried to analyze few games they (KCCA) played this season. We have also watched the video footages the ties they played in CAF Champions League preliminaries. We know what sort of tactic we should use to get the result we need.”
The Horsemen will be welcoming last season’s CAF Champions League joint top scorer Salahdin Said. The Ethiopian international had injury prone Season where he failed to make any appearances since the start of the season. New signing Malian striker Amara Malle is also expected to make his debut.
KCCA jetted into the country on Monday. The Ugandan champions seemingly look to be the better side as far as current form matters. The Kampala based club knocked CNaPS Sports of Madagascar in the preliminaries. Assistant coach Morley Byekwaso stated his charges will emerge victorious in the away encounter. “We are focused. I think our boys are more confident that this time we are going to get a win in away game. We are focused on the main issue which has brought us here. It is to get results. We have no worry because our team has traveled across the African continent last season and we have managed play big super powers in African football. We really managed to play well despite the fact that we have lost many away games. I think this time we came fully prepared.”
KCCA’s worst record in away continental games should be relief for Kidus Giorgis who just lost one time at home since 2016 Champions League. The last time the two sides’ faceoff was in the 2002 CAF Cup first round where Kidus Giorgis knocked KCCA 1-0 on aggregate. Center back Birhanu Feyissa struck the lone goal in Addis Ababa Stadium.