By GISHINGA NJOROGE, Managing Editor, in Kampala
FINE sunny morning weather prevailed in Kampala on Thursday promising tolerable pitch conditions at the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Namboole after the horrendous muddy setting on Wednesday.
Wednesday was also a day when Kenya were put under a spot light they would not have like to be when headlines told of how they had expelled two players from their squad on disciplinary issues.
Paul Were and Kevin Omondi left their hotel on Tuesday night and did not return until dawn the following day, said a communiqué issued on behalf of the Football Kenya Federation [FKF]. There were instantly dismissed, said the FKF chairman, Sam Nyamweya.
Harambee Stars will have to do with only 18 players for the rest of the tournament.
In Group ‘C’ action on Thursday , Malawi are set to take on Eritrea in the first fixture at 4pm before Rwanda clash with Zanzibar at 6pm.
But should conditions take a sudden change and the clouds open up again in the afternoon, atrocious circumstances will continue in a city where there all other alternative playing grounds are dilapidated. Even the old War Memorial Stadium, Nakivubo, traditional home of many past Cecafa Challenge Cup tournaments, is plainly unusable.
Somalia and Sudan, then Tanzania Mainland and Burundi, slithered under the slippery conditions on Wednesday doing well to provide good entertainment in very competitive and close Group ‘B’ matches.
Somalia were the wonder team of the day, showing remarkable ability after a two-week coaching stint by Uganda’s Sam Ssimbwa, to match Sudan, step-for-step, before going down to a very late goal and a 1-0 loss.
Tanzania Mainland, odds-on favorites to beat Burundi, had all bad fortune against them, conceding a penalty in an action which the culprit defender Shomari Kapombe injured himself and could not continue.
The Sudanese converted the spot kick for a 1-0 victory in a thrilling game in which the Kilimanjaro Stars missed numerous chances, including John Bocco hitting the cross bar and Burundi clearing the ball off the line in another instance.
2012 CECAFA TUSKER CHALLENGE CUP:
November 24 – December 8
Nelson Mandela National Stadium – Namboole
Pools, with Africa –World rankings
(22 - 86)Uganda
(28 - 102)Ethiopia
(39 - 130)Kenya
(51- 200)South Sudan
Ethiopia 1-0 South Sudan
Uganda 1-0 Kenya
South Sudan 0-2 Kenya
Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia
(29 - 102)Sudan
(38 - 128)Burundi
(41 - 134)Tanzania
(48 - 193)Somalia
Burundi 5-1 Somalia
Tanzania Mainland 2-0 Sudan
Somalia 0-1 Sudan
Tanzania Mainland 0-1 Burundi
(27 - 101)Malawi
(37 - 122) Rwanda
(47 - 192) Eritrea
Zanzibar 0-0 Eritrea
Rwanda 2-0 Malawi
* * * * *
(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 5-1 Somalia, Gp ‘B’
4. Tanzania Mainland 2-0 Sudan, Gp ‘B’
Monday, Nov 26:
5. Zanzibar 0-0 Eritrea, Gp ‘C’
6. Rwanda 2-0 Malawi, Gp ‘C’
Tuesday, Nov 27:
7. South Sudan 0-2 Kenya, Gp ‘A’
8. Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia, Gp ‘A’
Wednesday, Nov 28:
9. Somalia 0-1 Sudan, Gp ‘B’
10. Tanzania Mainland 0-1 Burundi, Gp ‘B’
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