Express FC returns to the CAF Champions League for the first time since 1997 when they face Sudan’s Al Merrikh on Friday September 10, 2021 at the St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende.
Having won the Uganda Premier League and Cecafa Kagame Cup, Express hope to carry along with their fine run into the preliminary round of the continental championship.
While addressing a pre-match press conference on Thursday, head coach Wsswa Bbosa said, “this is a big game for all of us as a club, every Express FC fan has been dreaming about returning to the continent and here we are, we have been preparing ever since we returned from the Kagame Cup and I can assure you that we’re ready for Al Merrikh because we know they’re an experienced side especially on the continent but we shall give it our all and try to kill the game from here”.
It should be noted however, that Bbosa is not eligible to sit on the technical bench during CAF games due to lack of the minimum coaching requirements.
Enock Walusimbi, the team captain re-echoed his coach’s voice.
“As players our target was to play continental football and now that we have the chance to, we want to go all the way, Al Merriekh is a decent team but we’ve also prepared well like the coach said,” Walusimbi noted. “The Kagame Cup experience helped a lot and we shall definitely build on that to ensure we make it to the first round,” he added.
The two sides have previously met six times with the Sudanese winning four and drawing once.
The Ugandan champions on the other hand have just only a 2-0 win which they earned in 1993 during the return leg of the then Africa Cup Winners Cup (CAF Confederations Cup).
However, although the visitors have an upper hand in terms of head to head, the Red Eagles could ride on their recent form. They are on a 24 match unbeaten run across all competitions with their last loss coming on 9th March 2021.
Center Referee – Souleiman Ahmed Djama (Djibouti)
First Assistant Referee – Rachid Weis WAIS BOURALEH (Djibouti)
Second Assistant Referee – ROBLEH DIRIR Eleyeh ROBLEH (Djibouti)
Fourth Official – Mohamed Diraneh DIRANEH GUEDI. (Djibouti)
David Gikonyo Mwangi – Match Commissioner (Kenya)
Dr. James Ssekajugo – Covid-19 Officer (Uganda).