Uganda climb Kilimanjaro
Uganda and Kenya will meet in the final of the Cecafa Tusker Cup on Saturday in a repeat of the 2009 edition after the duo defeated Tanzania and Zanzibar on Thursday respectively.
Emmnuel Okwi’s first of the tournament on 12 minutes and Robert Ssentongo’s brace on 52 and 72 minutes ensured Uganda went up the Kilimanjaro Stars, named after the famous mountain, with ease. Kenya earlier beat Zanzibar 4-2 on spot kicks after normal time ended 2-2.
Uganda, also coached by current Bobby Williamson then, beat Kenya 1-0 in the January 2009 final at the same Namboole venue with Brian Umony the scorer.
The game started bubbly with both sides intent on attack. Tanzania hit the post and had marksman Raphael John Bocco’s effort cleared off the line by Henry Kalungi after the striker had rounded goalkeeper Hamza Muwonge.
Muwonge also had to brilliantly parry out Shomari Kapombe’s direct goal-bound corner before Kalungi headed off the line yet another ball off the Tanzanian attack.
But it is Cranes pressure early that had Ssentongo and Okwi cause the Kilimanjaro Stars backline havoc.
They each shared missed chances but when Muwonge’s lucky charmed clearance found Denis Guma, the right back released Okwi.
The Simba striker, already in flight, beat his marker and the moment he surged into the penalty area he let go of a fierce drive that gave Tanzania goalkeeper and skipper Juma Kaseja no chance as Uganda took a 12th minute lead.
In between first half action, a scuffle ensued as a section of Ugandan fans crossed over to the Kenyan and Tanzanian supporters’ territory.
As security intervened to control the object pelting between the fans, it also got heated on the pitch with Hamis Kiiza getting on the wrong side of a Tanzanian player before players from both sides joined the tangle.
Okwi had to be stretched off the pitch before the scuffle after he suffered a recurring injury from a knock he kicked earlier on.
His replacement, Kiiza, was in the mix as Uganda’s second goal came after recess, the Yanga striker latching onto a through pass down the left before crossing for Ssentongo to tap home from close range.
Ssentongo, scoring his fourth of the tournament, killed off the game, tapping in a rebound from close range after Kaseja had spilled a free kick from Moses Oloya.