A late Dan Sserunkuma strike was enough to hand defending champions Uganda Cranes a winning start and three points against nemesis Rwanda and take them second of Group C in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
Although the two sides have failed to register a win against each other this year, notably a 2-2 in Kigali in February and a 0-0 in Kampala in November, Micho and his former Rwanda assistant Eric Nshimiyimana could had lots of changes up their sleeves. Both sides didn’t really asserted any consistent dominance.
The game started on a dull point but started getting lively with Uganda Cranes creating the first chance on 19 minutes when Nicholas Wadada overlapped well to cut back for Geoffrey Kizito who shot wide.
It had a controversial note in the 36th minute when Wadada appeared to have fouled Jean Claude Iranzi in the box but the referee awarded a free kick to Uganda.
Hamis Kiiza too did have a go on goal with a header that Rwandan keeper Jean Claude Ndayishimiye did well to punch clear for a corner then Kizito spurned another good chance in the 43rd minute, shooting wide after being set clear by Sserunkuma.
The Uganda national team, which is using the tournament to prepare for the 2014 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) in South Africa, going into this Friday game facing a Amavubi side with whom they drew 0-0 two weeks ago in Kampala, the Cranes were hoping to end their goal draught and be in position to find the back of the net at all costs and if anything make it count and qualify for the quarterfinals; and Sserunkuma aman who struggled to enter the Uganda Cranes scored with a well-taken right-footed shot which left Rwanda’s goalkeeper totally beaten.
“Dan (Sserunkuma) justified why he was called up to the Cranes. It was a moment of magic and my boys responded well and it’s good to start a tournament like this with a win and no goal conceded,” said the Serb-born Micho.
Many Kenyans were also be eager to watch how Ugandan striker Sserunkuma will feature for the national side and he never disappointed them as well.
“My boys failed in this game, but we hope to play better in the other two group games,” Rwanda’s coach Nshimiyimana said after the game.
Rwanda missed undoubtedly their best goal scoring opportunity when in the 47th minute Meddie Kagere crossed in for Jacques Tuyisenge but the midfielder hit the post with a volley.
Sserunkuma was twice denied in the 57th and 68th minutes with the second one a penalty appeal being rejected but he made no mistake on the 88th minute.
UGANDA .Benjamin Ochan (gk), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi ©, Richard Kasagga, Savio Kabugo, Aucho Khalid, Geoffrey Kizito, Hamis Kiiza, Mpande Joseph, Daniel Sserunkuma and Brian Majwega
SUBS:Ismael Watenga (gk), Said Kyeyune, Julius Ntambi, Martin Mpuga, Ibrahim Kizza, Vincent Kayizzi, Isaac Muleme and Franco Oringa.
RWANDA: Ndayishimye Jean, Haruna Niyonzima, Nshutiyamagara Ismael, Bayisenge Emery, Ngirishuti Mwemere, Omberenga Fitina, Baptiste Mugiraneza, Meddie Kagere, Mushimiyimana Mohammad, Tuyisenge Jacques and Jean Claude Iranzi.
SUBS: Ndori Jean-Claude, Tubane James, Sibomana Abouba, Twagizimana Fabrice, Nduhukira Micheal, Rushenganga Michel and Mugabo Ciyan Hussein