ATRACO coach Sam Timbe has blamed the team’s premature exit from the Orange Confederation Cup on the massive exodus of senior players from the club during the transfer window.
The taxi-men side lost seven first time players in Johnson Bagoole, Jean Shyaka, Alou Gaseruka, Joseph Kabagambe, Jean Luc Ndayishimiye a.k.a. Bakame, Peter Kagabo and Charles Kawuma and while the team has tried to cope on the local scene, it was always going to be difficult on the continental scene.
Timbe reasoned that losing seven first team players was a big loss for the club and that it deprived the team of the necessary experience of dealing with teams like El-Amal.
“It is very difficult to build a new team when you are taking part in a continental competition like the Confederation Cup. I lost several players when the team was beginning to gel,” Timbe conceded.
Atraco marched into Sunday’s tie with a healthy 2-0 first leg lead but the rampant Sudanese side quickly restored parity after two first half goals.
Hamis Kitagenda and Mike Sebalinga missed easy chances in the second half and with the game tied on goal aggregates (2-2); it went down to penalty shoot-outs.
Both teams scored eight penalties on the trot before Arafat Serugendo missed the decisive penalty to end Atraco’s chances of progressing to the next round.
Atraco were a force to reckon with last season and almost collected a treble of titles only for APR to pip them to the league title. The taxi-men side settled for a double after winning the Cecafa Club Championship and MTN Peace Cup.
The club is currently fourth in the league but with two games in hand.