BUL FC’s continental story did not get off to a dream start but still did not prove to be a disaster, despite playing to a goalless draw against Future FC at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
After hosting the first leg on Saturday, BUL will have a huge task to turn around the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round qualifier when they travel to Egypt for the second leg.
With a two-month break without competitive football since their Uganda Cup final victory over Vipers SC, the lack of match sharpness was evident with BUL as they struggled to get a grip of the game early on.
Alex Isabirye’s side did eventually improve in the second half, and created a couple of good opportunities, but did not put them to good use.
Ibrahim Kazindula failed to hit the target after he was picked up at the far post with yards of space and the goal gapping while Ibrahim Mugulusi was twice brilliantly denied by the Future FC goalkeeper.
Apart from the spells of BUL’s dominance, Future had longer spells of dominance in the game but disappointingly failed to score what would have been a crucial away goal.
Forward Ahmed El-Sayed created several problems for BUL but was agonizingly denied by a brave goal-line clearance from Martin Aprem.
Striker Muhamad Atef also had his opportunities, first drawing a top save from Saidi Keni with an acrobatic kick, before firing over the crossbar after pouncing on a mistimed clearance from Douglas Muganga.
And the frustration was plainly revealed after the final whistle through a scuffle between goalkeeper Mahmoud Ahmed and his teammate El-Sayed at full-time.
The friendly bad blood that had built up during the game took the interference of the entire team and the coaching staff to break off.
BUL will carry confidence that the tie is still delicately poised for the return leg, but the recent history of clashes between Ugandan and Egyptian clubs does not give them a chance for the second leg in Cairo.
However, any scoring draw is good enough for BUL to suffice and progress to the next round.