Rivalry renewed

Today’s fixturesEritrea   v   Djibouti         1pmRwanda v   Uganda          3pm

Today’s fixtures

Eritrea   v   Djibouti         1pm

Rwanda v   Uganda          3pm

After the Tanzanian vs Kenya tie on Saturday, it time for yet another traditional rivals to renew their rivalry as Rwanda battles the Uganda Cranes in a group B tier this afternoon at the ongoing GTV sponsored Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Amavubi coach Josip Kuze’s coaching credentials are going to be judged by one of the leading tacticians in the region Laszlo Csaba when nine-time winners Uganda Cranes take on their fiercest rivals who have won the event just once at Karume stadium.

Amavubi Stars, winners of the regional tournament in 1998 go into today’s tie with confidence high after their 2-1 defeat of Eritrea in their opener on Sunday but so would be the Ugandans who taught Djibouti a football lesson in their 7-0 trouncing of the minors on the same day.

Rwanda will take advantage from the fact that they have been able to nip victories over their neighbors in the previous Cecafa meetings. Rwanda beat Uganda 1-0 after extra time at the semifinal in the 2005 edition and followed that with yet another win for third place 5-4 on penalties last year.

Last year, the two sides were grouped in the same where the Cranes defeated Amavubi 1-0 in the group stages but both teams qualified to the later stages.

Both teams were eliminated at the semi-final stage with Zambia winning the title. Rwanda lost to Zambia 1-0 while Uganda lost to Sudan 5-6 on penalties, the tie had finished 2-2 after full time.

There is no love lost between the two sides and with the fact that both teams have recruited foreign coaches to elevate their football standards, Rwanda under Croatian born Josip Kuze and Uganda under Hungarian born Laszlo Csaba, a high spirited battle is expected.

Both countries won their Group B openers: Uganda Cranes demolished Djibouti 7-0 with Hamis Kitagende coring a hat trick with Andy Mwesigwa and Dan Wagaluka scoring a brace while Amavubi Stars narrowly escaped light weights Eritrea to attain a 2-1 victory.

Haruna Niyonzima and Labama Kamana Bokota were on target.

The 1998 winners, Rwanda is among the 11 countries contesting for regional supremacy in addition to $30,000 (about Frw.16M) prize money at stake for the eventual champion.


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