We are on pressure to win -Williamson I don’t know Uganda’s style – Branko
Zanzibar v Somalia 4 pm
Uganda v Rwanda 6.30pm
Zambia 3-0 Djiouti
Sudan 0-0 Kenya
KAMPALA - It will be a test of tactical awareness at the Mandela National stadium, Namboole this afternoon as Uganda hosts Rwanda in the fourth game of the 34th edition of the GTV-sponsored Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
While coach Tucak Branko will be having his first test of the Cecafa Challenge Cup, the Amavubi stars will hope that they can pick yet another victory in Cranes own backyard.
Rwanda beat Uganda at the same stadium in 2003 during the Africa Nations Cup qualifying tie, courtesy of a Jimmy Gatete goal.
Rwanda who also beat Uganda at the semi-final stage last year before losing to eventual winners Sudan will however need to play safe against a team that is hungry for success infront.
“Although I have lost some of my key players due to injury, my team is looking good. The only problem for the team is likely to be handling the pressure because we are playing at home and expectations are high,” Uganda ’s Scottish coach Booby Williamson said yesterday.
Williamson who will be handling the Cranes for his third game since failing to guide the team to the next stage of the 2010 World Cup/Africa Nations Cup qualifiers said a win is very vital for his team because it will give them a good starting point for the tournament.
But in the absence of top players like Olivier Kalekezi, Said Abedi and Abedi Mulenda, the Amavubi stars coach Branko is expected to rely on the experience of goalkeeper Jean Claude Ndoli, defenders Hategekimana Bonaventure, Elias Ntaganda and the attack of Eric Gasana, Bogota Labama and Uwimana Abdul.
Rwanda has a fairly difficult route after being drawn in Group A alongside Tanzania, Zanzibar, Somalia and usual nemesis Uganda.
Although the team has been deprived of key players like its captain Olivier Karekezi, Haruna Niyonzima, Patrick Mafisango, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza and Jean Luc Ndayishimiye, Ferwafa is confident that it will deliver.
“It is true that the team is without some of its key players but from what we have seen in training, there is no need to worry. The players have been working very hard in training and are very focused at the task at hand,” the team manager said.
Niyonzima, Mugiraneza and Ndayishimiye are all part of the U-20 team that is currently in Tunisia gearing up for next month’s African Youth Championship while Mafisango, arguably Rwanda’s top midfielder is out citing family commitments.
“The tournament has come at the right time and I believe it will be useful, but for the match against Uganda , I don’t really know their style of play, but I think if we play as a unit, we shall win,” said Branko.
His counterpart Williamson said although his is not tactically aware of Rwanda ’s approach, he hopes scoring early goals will be the answer to victory.
Iceland based defender Andy Mwesigwa is expected to lead the Ugandan team together with the likes of former APR winger Vincent Kayizzi, Tony Mawejje, Stephn Bengo, Ceaser Okuthi and Egypt based striker Simeon Massa.
The first Group A game in the Challenge Cup under the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations will see Zanzibar battle Somalia who have vowed to cause some major upsets this time round.
The winner of the event will walk away with US$30,000, the runner-up US$20,000 and the third placed US$10,000