• As Uganda win 11th Cecafa title
Orange Cecafa Challenge Cup
Uganda 2-0 Rwanda
Third place playoff
Zanzibar 1-0 Tanzania
NAIROBI - Rwanda’s hopes of winning a second regional title were blown out after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Uganda in the final the 2009 Orange Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup played yesterday at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi.
The Cranes went into the match as favorites and lived up to the billing when Dan Wagaluka put them ahead in the 42nd minute.
The pint-sized winger pounced on a loose ball inside the box after the Rwandan defenders had failed to clear their lines.
As Rwanda searched for an equalizer, second half substitute Emma Okwi increased Ugandas’s lead after capitalizing on a rare mistake by Haruna Niyonzima to easily beat Amavubi’s goal keeper Jean Luc Ndayishimiye.
The victory gave Uganda a record 11th regional title while leaving Rwanda still searching for a second after winning it in 1999 in Kigali.
From the first whistle, the Uganda Cranes showed their experience and when the second goal went in, it was game over as they easily dealt with anything that their less experienced opponents threw at them.
Bobby Williamson’s side started the game with high intensity, winning four corners in the opening six minutes but it was from the fourth corner that midfielder Tony Mawejje forced Rwanda’s goalkeeper Ndayishimiye to make a superb save at the near post.
It wasn’t until the 12th minute that Rwanda went close to threatening Uganda’s keeper Hamza Muwonge but Yusuf Ndayishimye headed wide.
As Eric Nshimiyimana’s side started to find their rhythm, Jean Baptist Mugiraneza received the first booking of the game after a reckless challenge on a Ugandan but Dan Walusimbi blasted the resulting free kick well over Ndayishimiye’s cross bar.
Nshimiyimana made his first change after 30 minutes, bringing on Amin Mwizerwa for an ineffective Abdoulkarim Gashugi.
And when the game appeared to be heading into recess goalless, Amavubi defenders failed to deal with what seemed to be a harmless ball inside their box and were punished by Wagaluka, who received the ball, calmed himself before slotting calmly in the bottom corner.
Rwanda started the second half with good intent and left fullback Donattiene Tuyizere forced Muwonge into a fine save, the first but also last for Amavubi.
Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa leaped off with a back injury and was replaced by Mussa Doka and Jean Claude Iranze came on for Tumaine Ndamuhanga but the young APR winger couldn’t make any impact.
Okwi came on for Patrick Ochan and immediate made an impact, scoring Uganda’s second goal with his first touch in the 73rd minute sending hundreds of Uganda fans who made the trip to Nairobi into wild celebrations.
After the game, Nshimiyimana said, “It was a good game from both team but in the end experience counted a lot.”
“In the first half we played well and also in the early part of the second but when they scored the second, my players got demoralized but credit to them for reaching the final.”
Meanwhile, Zanzibar beat Tanzania 1-0 to take third place and a $10,000 cheque.
Winners Uganda took home the trophy and $30,000 while Rwanda won silver and $20,000.