Tusker Challenge Cup
Burundi 4-1 Somalia
Uganda 2-1 Zanzibar
Tanzania vs Rwanda-3pm
RWANDA start the hunt for a second Cecafa Challenge Cup this afternoon when they face defending champions Tanzania in Group A’s opening fixture at Dar-es-salaam’s national stadium.
The teams know each other too well after clashing in last year’s tournament where Tanzania had the last laugh after ejecting Amavubi at the quarter-final stage.
But for Amavubi’s new coach Milutin Micho, this is a new chapter.
“There is no need to dwell so much into what happened last year because a lot has changed since. We have new players in the side and the morale is high,” the former Orlando Pirates coach said.
That said, Micho knows too well that his side will find it hard to play in front of a capacity crowd at Dar-se-Salaam’s national stadium. The Hosts will also be buoyed on by Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete.
In yesterday’s pre-match interview, Micho’s opposite number Boniface Mkwasa beamed with confidence.
“We have prepared well for the game and there is no reason why we cannot win. I have great belief in my boys and I know that they will finish off the job,” Mkwasa said.
The winner of this year’s competition will take home $30,000 (approx. Rwf18m) while $20,000 (approx. Rwf12m) will go to the first runner-up and $10,000 (approx. Rwf6m) to the second runner-up.
Rwanda’s lone Cecafa triumph came back in 1999 when the country fielded two teams.
Meanwhile, Uganda Cranes got their campaign off to a bright start following yesterday’s 2-1 win over Zanzibar in Group B.
APR’s Dan Wagaluka and Mike Serumaga scored the goals while Ali Badru Ali netted Zanzibar’s equalizer.
Earlier in the day, Burundi hammered minnows Somalia 4-1. Rayon Sport midfielder Cedric Amissi scored a brace on 54th and 86th minute with APR’s Papy Faty and blues defender Floriber Ndayisaba scoring the other goals.
Amavubi’s probable Line-up:
JC Ndoli, A. Ngabo, F. Ndaka, E. Gasana, I. Nshutiyamagara, JB. Mugiraneza, N. Haruna, O. Karekezi, M. Kagere, JC Iranzi and K. Bokota