Unbeaten CECAFA Tusker Cup champions Uganda Cranes’ record setting credentials will this evening be tested when they face bitter rivals Kenya Harambe stars in the 2012 CECAFA Tusker Cup grand finale to be played at Namboole stadium 6pm.
Uganda are record cup holders with 12 trophies and will be seeking to add to their trophy cabinet when they clash with Kenya today in what has been billed as the East African derby by many soccer pundits because of the rivalry between the two teams.
The Cranes hammered Tanzania 3 – 0 in the semi-final while Kenya beat Zazibar 4 – 2 on penalties after the game had ended in a 2 all draw.
Although Uganda beat Kenya in the first game of the tournament, repeating the feat in the final will come as near legitimate consolation to Ugandan fans who have never forgiven Kenya for obliterating the Cranes’ hopes of featuring in this year’s Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) that was held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In October Last year, the two nations played out a goalless draw in a game the Cranes needed to win to book their place in AFCON, However the Harambee stars who stood no chance of qualifying frustrated the former giving Angola the advantage.
The Cranes will bank on their home advantage to carry the day while the Harambee stars hope that the determined play that saw them come from a goal down twice to force the semi-final game with Zanzibar into a penalty shootout can be replicated today as they battle in form Uganda Cranes.
The odds going into the game favour the home side considering they have neither lost a game nor conceded a goal however the stars will not pushed over.
Mike Baraza who was in scintillating form against Zanzibar with his goals helping to bring Kenya back into the game will be the man to watch on the Kenyan side while Uganda’s Robert Sentogo who bagged a brace against stubborn Tanzania is expected to cause mayhem for Kenya’s backline.
Brian Umony and Emmanuel Okwi will have to pass a late fitness tests if they are to make it to the team.
It is the third time the two teams face off in a CECAFA final since 2008 and although Uganda has the advantage, the players and the Coach cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
Uganda has played in 18 CECAFA Cup finals, won a record 12 and lost only five. It is 17 years now since Uganda lost a final.
In today’s early kick off, Tanzania and Zanzibar will battle it out for third place in a game that will also be played at Namboole stadium.
Cranes XI: (4-4-2):Hamza Muwonge (GK)Denis Guma Henry Kalungi Isaac Isinde Godfrey Walusimbi
Moses Oloya Hassan Wasswa (CPT) Geoffrey Kizito Joseph Ochaya Robert Ssentongo Hamis Kiiza
Harambee stars XI(4-1-3-2):Duncan Ochieng (GK)Anthony Modo Kimani David Owino David Ochieng Abdallah Juma Joackins Atudo Clifton Miheso Humphrey Mieno Kevin Omondi Ramah Salim Mike Barasa