Not often do matches between Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars and Uganda Cranes end goalless but it was the case on Saturday when the two rivals met in an international friendly at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Kampala.
The home team, under former Amavubi coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic, started the better side with play building from the back line before the Amavubi Stars neutralised their play, thanks to the great midfield combination of Jean Batiste Mugiraneza and Mohammed Mushimiyimana and skipper, Haruna Niyonzima.
Micho started a rare combination of players in the middle of the pack with Oscar Agaba starting alongside Ayubu Kisalita. The duo’s work rate offered the defensive work but there was less similar effort upfront.
After the break, it was Rwanda’s turn to boss possession and Eric Nshiyimana’s team created the more clear scoring chances but Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge could not find a way past Cranes goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan.
Nshimiyimana preferred to start with Jean Luc Ndayishimye ‘Bakame’ in goal ahead of the usual first choice Jean-Claude Ndoli and the Rayon Sports shot stopper was equal to every question asked of him by the Cranes’ strikers.
Former APR winger Vincent Kayizzi was probably Uganda’s most effective player as his endless crosses from the right kept Bakame busy. The day’s skipper Emma Okwi, normally a dangerous customer wasted a number of decent chances.
The two teams have been drawn in the Group C at the forthcoming Cecafa Senior Challenger which stars later this month in Kenya.