Rwanda 2 Tanzania 0
Somalia 0 Uganda 4
KAMPALA - It was a case of defensive naivety and technical blunder that caused Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars pain yesterday when they went down 2-0 to Tanzania in a group A tie at the on-going Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
The loss puts Rwanda in a very difficult position if they are to qualify for the semi-finals as they need to beat Zanzibar by over four goals and also pray that hosts Uganda can grab victory over Tanzania with a two goal score or more in the remaining group ties.
Rwanda’s defense was caught ball watching in the 8th minute during a goal mouth scrabble to give Mrisho Ngassa all the time to slot the ball past advancing goalkeeper Patrick Rutayisire.
With the Tanzanians playing a man-to-man marking approach with quick passing and running a lot at the Amavubi defence, Coach Tucak Branko failed to push his boys to take command of the midfield which proved so fruitful for the Kilimanjaro Stars.
As the Amavubi Stars tried to put their act together, the Tanzanians kept running rings at them and a neat splitting pass from skipper Shadrack Masajigwa landed in Athumani Iddi’s path, who made no mistake making it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
On resumption, coach Branko who had promised to beat Tanzania made a desperate double substitution which yielded no fruits. He brought on the fresh legs Yahya and Donacien Tuyizire.
“We completely failed to take care of the Tanzanians, “said Amavubi coach Branko who also accepted blame for the loss.
He admitted that although the Tanzanians played a rough game which explains why they picked three bookings, they are played better and deserved to win.
“We are now in a tricky position if we are to progress to the semi-final,’ admitted the Croatian.
Tanzania’s Brazilian coach Marcio Maximo was a happy man and promised even better football against Uganda.
“We started badly by losing to Somalia, but am happy my boys have responded positively,” said Maximo who has guided Tanzania to the next round of the CHAN Africa Championship tournament.
In the second game played, hosts Uganda hammered Somalia 4-0 to become the first nation to book a place in the semi finals.
Uganda top group A with 7 points from three with a game against Tanzania still to come on Friday.
Tony Mawejje scored a brace, while Owen Kasule and Egyptian based professional Geoffrey Massa picked a goal each.
Today, defending champions Sudan take on Zambia while group B table leaders Burundi play Kenya at Nakivubo stadium. Rwanda returns to action on Friday against Zanzibar.
P W D L F A Pts
Uganda 3 2 1 0 8 0 7
Tanzania 3 2 0 1 4 2 6
Zanzibar 3 1 1 1 3 2 4
Rwanda 3 1 0 2 3 6 3
Somalia 4 1 0 3 1 9 3
P W D L F A Pts
Burundi 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
Kenya 3 1 2 0 5 1 5
Zambia 3 1 2 0 4 1 5
Sudan 3 0 2 1 2 3 2
Djibouti 4 0 1 3 2 13 1