Cranes, Tanzania in repeat semi clash
Uganda will be looking to repeating the last two editions exploits against Tanzania when the Cranes and Kilimanjaro Stars clash in the semifinals of the Cecafa Tusker Cup at Namboole on Thursday.
The two are the second semifinal of the day after Kenya, who provide an exciting prospect of a final against the Cranes should both prevail, take on Zanzibar.
The other stimulating prospect is Mainland Tanzania ejecting Uganda and Zanzibar eliminating Kenya for a mother of all derbies between the Kili Stars and Zanzibar Heroes in the final.
Regardless though, by end of Thursday we shall know the two teams from which the winner of this year’s tournament will emerge.
Onto the second clash of the day, it will be reminiscent of the last two editions clashes between Uganda and Tanzania.
When the two East African neighbours met at this stage two years ago, Uganda triumphed 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw.
At the same level last year in Dar es Salaam, the Cranes again came out top 3-1 after extra time with Andy Mwesigwa, who did not take part in this tournament, Emmanuel Okwi and Isaac Isinde scoring.
Both Uganda and Tanzania coaches, Bobby Williamson and Kim Poulsen, are unmoved they will make the final and possibly lift the title.
“I believe we have killed the myth that we can only win at home as this was a superb performance away from home,” Poulsen told SuperSport.com after his outfit beat Rwanda 2-0 in the first quarterfinal on Monday.
“…And I believe we can go all the way to the final and eventually clinch the coveted trophy here in Uganda.”
Poulsen, however, knows he must first take care of Uganda, the record 12-time winners and defending champions, if he is to achieve his dream.
But Bobby, whose side beat Ethiopia 2-0 en route the semifinals, thinks otherwise.
“It’s gonna be a difficult game,” said Bobby, “Tanzania I think are capable. We’ve played them a number of tournaments and we look forward to the game.
“There is no team in this tournament I fear. I believe we are the best without being respectful to any of these countries. I think they are all good.”
The Cranes midfield and backline will particularly watch danger man Mrisho Ngassa and John Bocco, the pair leading the scoring charts with five goals apiece.
Brian Umony, three goals to his name, is a slight doubt after picking a knock in the previous game but in Emmanuel Okwi, who is yet to find the back of the net, Hamis Kiiza and Robert Ssentongo Bobby has enough ammunition.
Zanzibar vs Kenya, 4pm
Uganda vs Tanzania, 7pm
Namboole, Live on SS9E