By GISHINGA NJOROGE, Managing Editor, in Kampala
UGANDA beat bitter rivals Kenya 1-0 while Ethiopia edged South Sudan by the same margin during Saturday’s opening day of the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup at Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Namboole, Kampala.
African Football Confederation [CAF] President Dr Issa Hayatou was chief guest during the Group ‘A’ encounters in which Kenya suffered a dent to their hopes of coming out of the pool as quarter finalists.
Uganda and Ethiopia, straight away became hot favourites to proceed and Kenya and debutants South Sudan threatened with early elimination.
Uganda 1 Kenya 0
Geoffrey Kizito scored for Uganda in the 73rd minute to crown the Cranes’ clear dominance during the entire match.
Harambee Stars poorly defended a free kick taken by Dennis Iguma from outside the box on the right flank. Kizito struck from close range past a helpless Duncan Ochieng’.
While Kenya ought to have equalised at the death when a long throw-in by Enoch Agwanda dropped on the goal line and was twice knocked by Kenyan legs but mysteriously did not cross, they were largely outplayed by the Cranes who were superior in ball control and movement.
Kenya had to make one forced change to the line-up announced hours to the match as striker Mike Baraza exited with sickness to be replaced by Ramadhan Salim.
After a quarter of an hour, all the running was being done by the Cranes and Brian Umony, Kizito, Moses Oloya and striker Emmanuel Okwi had the Harambee Stars furiously defending.
The Kenyan attack had no natural striker deployed and the diminutive Salim was at the front of converted midfielders picked to play the role. The support of Humphrey Mieno, Clifton Miheso and Anthony “Muki” Kimani completely lacked bite.
It had been a 6pm kick-off and when teams returned to the pitch after the first half, a power black-out hit a section of the stadium and it was 10 minutes before the lights went on again.
Uganda showed no slow-down effect after the interruption but Harambee Stars almost hit them with a good counter-attack move initiated by substitute Paul Were which almost resulted into a Kenyan lead.
But in diving at the feet to cut off the final ball, Cranes ‘keeper Abbey Dhaira was badly injured. After writhing with pain on the pitch, he was replaced by Hamza Muwonge but still looked in deep distress during a doctor’s attention on the touchline and was then rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
After Uganda’s goal, Kevin Omondi split the Cranes’ defence for a ball into the box for Mieno who should have had a better effort in connecting for a decent shot at goal.
Kenyans showed some cutting edge in the final 10 minutes but a relaxed Uganda defence effectively saw off the period.
UGANDA - 1. Abbey Dhaira (18. Hamza Muwonge, 60’): 16. Hassan Waswa (captain), 6. Dennis Iguma, 15. Geoffrey Walusimbi, 4. Henry Kalungi, 5. Isaac Isinde, 13. Moses Oloya, 3. Geoffrey Kizito, 7. Emmanuel Okwi, 10. Brian Umony (9. Robert Sentongo, 90’), 11. Hamisi Kiiza
Reserves not used - 12. Manco Kaweesa, 14. Nico Wakuro Wadada, 2. Joseph Ochaya, 17. Brian Majengwa, 20. Joseph Mpande
Scorer - 3. Geoffrey Kizito (73’)
Coach - Robert “Bobby” Williamson [Scotland]
Duncan Ochieng’ (Sofapaka):
Abdalla Juma Baya (Sofapaka)
Anthony “Modo” Kimani, captain (Mathare United
Jockins Atudo Otieno (Tusker)
David Owino (Gor Mahia):
David Ochieng’ (Tusker)
Bernard Wanyama Mang’oli (AFC Leopards)/12. Kevin Omondi Obwaka, 70’ (Gor Mahia)
Anthony “Muki” Kimani (Sofapaka)/5. Enoch Obiero Agwanda, 80’ (Sony Sugar)
Clifton Miheso (Thika United)/ 11. Paul Were Ooko, 55’ (AFC Leopards)
Humphrey Mieno (Sofapaka)
Ramadhan Salim (Gor Mahia)
Reserves not used:
10. Martin Musalia, Gk (Mathare United)
2. Thomas Khumba Wanyama (Sofapaka)
20. Victor Ochieng’ (AFC Leopards)
19. Edwin Lavatsa Jumba (Gor Mahia)
Coach – James Nandwa [Kenya]
* * * *
Referee - Thiery Nkurunziza (Burundi)
Assistant ref - Mohamed Idan (Sudan)
Asst ref - Ambrose Hakizimana (Rwanda)
Reserve ref - Israel Mujuni (Tanzania)
Match commissioner - Soulayman Waberi (Djibouti)
Referees’ inspector - Haruna Kebba (Uganda)
Ethiopia 1 South Sudan 0
Yonatan Kebede Teklemariam scored in the 60th , off a brilliant build-up by Ethiopia, to ensure their 1-0 win over South Sudan.
The Ethiopians were pleasantly slick in their passing game but this was matched by a stout effort by South Sudan in their very first Challenge Cup fixture after their recent independence from Sudan.
South Sudan striker and skipper Leon Khamis missed an excellent chance to put his team ahead just before the half time whistle.
The excellent goalkeeping of Juma Jenario, a star of the Al Hilal club of Khartoum across the border, kept the game competitive throughout and Ethiopia only had the edge due to their vast experience.
The country is the only one in the Cecafa region which has qualified for next January’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
ETHIOPIA - 1. Samson Asfaw Worku, 17. Fikru Teferra Lemessa captain (2. Chala Deriba Debala), 20. Moses Tadesse Bogale, 8. Girma Bekele Debelle, 4. Yared Zinabu Showatir, 3. Mehari Mena Medelcho, 6. Gathuoch Panom Yiech, 16. Tilahun Wolde Beyene, 7. Mesfin Kidane Beyene (11. Abdulkarim Hassen Yigemo, 60’), 14. Mesud Mohammed Mussa (9. Eliyas Mamo Gebremariam, 47’), 10. Yonatan Kebede Teklemariam
Reserves not used - 18. Dereje Alemu Genet, 19. Robel Girman Tsega, 12. Abraham Abebe Kassaye, 13. Binyamu Habtamu Mekonen
Scorer - 10. Yonatan Kebede Teklemariam (60’)
Coach – Seyum Kebede [Ethiopia]
SOUTH SUDAN - 1. Juma Janeiro: 9. Leon Khamis, 2. Zacharia Naglio, 3. Martin Suleman (16. Thomas Jacob, 60’), 4. Emmanuel Meskeen, 5. Mong Deng Atiy, 6. Emmanuel Manase, 7. Hassein Ismail (14. Adnan Nani, 46’), 8. William Silvestro, 10. Kuzgbour Dak, 11. James Kon (13. Justin Joseph, 46’)
Reserves not used - 12. Hassen Rafhiel, Gk; 15. Simon Amana
Coach - Zuran Djordjevic [Serbia]
* * * *
Referee - Louis Hakizimana (Rwanda)
Assistant ref - Aboker Salah (Somalia)
Asst ref - Ali Kinduli (Zanzibar)
Match commissioner - Zam Ali (Zanzibar)
Referees' inspecator - Maeruf Mansur (Eritrea)
2012 CECAFA TUSKER CHALLENGE CUP:
November 24 – December 8
Nelson Mandela Stadium – Namboole, War Memorial Stadium, Nakivubo
Pools, with Africa –World rankings
(22 - 86)Uganda
(28 - 102)Ethiopia
(39 - 130)Kenya
(51- 200)South Sudan
(29 - 102)Sudan
(38 - 128)Burundi
(41 - 134)Tanzania
(48 - 193)Somalia
(27 - 101)Malawi
(37 - 122) Rwanda
(47 - 192) Eritrea
(Qualification: Group ‘A’ 1st and 2nd, Group ‘B’ 1st and 2nd, Group ‘C’ 1st and 2nd, plus two best qualifiers from all groups qualify to quarter finals)
RESULTS & FIXTURES:
Saturday, November 24:
1. Ethiopia 1-0 South Sudan, Gp ‘A’
2. Uganda 1-0 Kenya, Gp ‘A’
Sunday, Nov 25:
3. Burundi v Somalia, Gp ‘B’, Namboole, 4pm
4. Tanzania Mainland v Sudan, Gp ‘B’, Namboole, 6pm
Monday, Nov 26:
5. Zanzibar v Eritrea, Gp ‘C’, Namboole, 4pm
6. Rwanda v Malawi, Gp ‘C’, Namboole, 6pm
Tuesday, Nov 27:
7. South Sudan v Kenya, Gp ‘A’, Namboole, 4pm
8. Uganda v Ethiopia, Gp ‘A’, Namboole, 6pm
Wednesday, Nov 28:
9. Somalia v Sudan, Gp ‘B’, Namboole, 4pm
10. Tanzania Mainland v Burundi, Gp ‘B’, Namboole, 6pm
Thursday, Nov 29:
11. Malawi v Eritrea, Gp ‘C’, Namboole, 4pm
12. Rwanda v Zanzibar, Gp ‘C’, Namboole, 6pm
Friday, Nov 30:
13. Kenya v Ethiopia, Gp ‘A’, Namboole, 4pm
14. South Sudan v Uganda, Gp ‘A’, Namboole, 6pm
Sat, December 1:
15. Sudan v Burundi, Gp ‘B’, Namboole, 2pm
16. Somalia v Tanzania Mainland, Gp ‘B’, Nakivubo, 2pm
17. Malawi v Zanzibar, Gp ‘C’, Nakivubo, 4pm
18. Eritrea v Rwanda, Gp ‘C’, Namboole, 4pm
Sun, Dec 2:
Mon, Dec 3:
19. C1 v B2, Namboole, 4pm
20. A1 v Best Q2, Namboole, 7pm
Tue, Dec 4:
21. B1 v Best Q1, Namboole, 7pm
22. A2 v C2, Namboole, 7pm
Wed, Dec 5:
Thur, Dec 6:
23. Winner 19 v Winner 20, Namboole, 4pm
24. Winner 21 v Winner 22, Namboole, 7pm
Fri, Dec 7:
Sat, Dec 8:
25. Loser 23 v Loser 24, Namboole, 4pm
26. Winner 23 v Winner 24, Namboole, 6pm