The Hippos went down in the 5th minute when striker Micheal Anaba capitalised on a mistake by skipper Yusuf Mukisa to slot home pass keeper Salim Jamal and silenced the home fans.
The Hippos however got an equalizer 5 minutes later through Julius Ogwang who put the ball behind the visitor’s net after custodian Muhamad Muntari Tagoe failed to contain Joseph Ochaya’s fierce shot from a free kick.
From this moment, the hosts’ regained their confidence with midfielders Geoffrey Kizito Baba, Gift Ali and Joseph Mpande bossing the midfield.
The home team kept the pressure on the visitors and Their dominance was rewarded with a second goal from Bunamwaya striker Joseph Mpande who made no mistake but slot the ball into the net after a brilliant pass from George Abege in the 38th minute.
This was after man of the match Joseph Ochaya had done the donkey work with a brilliant move he initiated from deep into his own half.
Six minutes later, the Hippos added the third when Julius Ogwang beautifully controlled a lofted ball from Gift Ali turned the keeper and slotted into an empty net in the 44th minute to ensure the Hippos ended the first half on top.
After recess, Ghana tactician Maxwell Konadu introduced winger Emmanuel Gymafi for Joseph Baffour put pressure on the hosts’ defence and this put the visitors back in the game who dominated much of the second half and came close on three occassions through Anaba, Emmanuel Gymafi and Mumuni Abubaker but custodian Jamal Salim was up to the task with brilliant saves.
Coach Paul Nkata introduced striker Erisha Ssekisambu for the tired George Abege and later William Wadri for Joseph Mpande to add on the Hippos fire power in search for more goals but the visitor’s rear guard stood tall till the final whistle with no more goals in the game.
The return leg is set in two weeks time and the Hippos just need to avoid a loss of more than two goals to advance to the next stage where they will meet the winner between Gambia and Morocco.