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History favours Kenya in CECAFA clash

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th January 2009 03:00 AM

UGANDANS are praying history doesn’t repeat itself today. The Uganda Cranes have in most of their Challenge Cup battles with Kenya left the arena bruised.

UGANDANS are praying history doesn’t repeat itself today. The Uganda Cranes have in most of their Challenge Cup battles with Kenya left the arena bruised.






By James Bakama

Today, 7.30pm
CECAFA Challenge Cup
Final

Uganda v Kenya


UGANDANS are praying history doesn’t repeat itself today. The Uganda Cranes have in most of their Challenge Cup battles with Kenya left the arena bruised.

That two of these humiliations have been in Kampala, is a bitter fact that many Ugandans would rather not even dare think about ahead of today’s clash at Namboole.

Memories are still fresh of the 1991 semi-final when star studded defending champions Uganda were humiliated 3-1 by Kenya before an unbelieving crowd at Nakivubo stadium.

Kenya, coached by Gerry Saurer, went into the match after defeating Uganda four times, drawing once in the two nations’ six meetings in ten CECAFA tournaments.

There were however all signs that the Cranes were about to better the record. They had not only topped their Kampala group but had also done so in style with a clean sheet.

But history was however not about to change. Not even big names like Paul Hasule, Magid Musisi and Steven Bogere and a sh0.5m winning bonus pledge from government could halt the Kenyans.

The Cranes seemed in charge at kick-off. Proceedings however quickly changed with knocks from the highly physical Kenyans.

As if going through a bad dream, 17,000 Ugandans crammed in the Kampala stadium looked on in shock as man of the match Henry Nyandoro nodded Harambee Stars into a 28th minute lead.

Those who thought Uganda could rise from the ashes, were in for more heartache as Simon Ndungu stretched the lead shortly after restart.
There was brief hope when Sam Kabugo pulled one back for the hosts but all that was lost shortly afterwards. Overlapping fullback Francis Oduor made it three for Kenya.

Current assistant Cranes coach Jackson Mayanja, a budding star in that side, will have to prove that he has overcome the ordeal.

Goalkeeper Bright Dhaira, who seemed helpless as balls flew past him into the net, will be praying that his son Abbey Dhaira, the current Cranes goalkeeper, has better fortunes.

If 1991 was bad, then 1982 was worse. That time the hosts had got within touching distance of the trophy only to be edged out on spot kicks.

While the hosts had big guns like Moses Nsereko, Jimmy Kirunda and Godfrey Kateregga, Kenya had stars like Muhammoud Abbas, Joe Masiga and Wilberforce Mulamba.

But it was Abbas, the man in the Kenyan posts, who hit the headlines with a superb show.

He made several saves, the most memorable being Davis “Black Bomber” Kamoga’s scorching penalty shot.

Harambee Stars, backed by hundreds of fans who had crossed the border from neighbouring Kenya, took the lead, which Kamoga cancelled late into the game to pave way for the penalties which Uganda lost 3-1.

But much as Kenya might be Cranes jinx side, the hosts, can still draw a lot of confidence from the fact they have won the annual tournament most times.
Uganda has emerged champions nine times, four more than their closest rivals Kenya.

Cranes skipper Andy Mwesigwa will go into history if he can lead the Cranes to a record tenth title at Namboole today.

The 1991 Cranes line-up:

B. Dhaira, P. Hasule, R. Mugalu, W. Nkemba, S. Kabugo, G. Nsimbe, S. Bogere, J. Mayanja, M. Musisi, U. Senoga, S.Kato.

History favours Kenya in CECAFA clash

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