CECAFA Quarterfinals Saturday
Uganda vs Tanzania 2pm
Kenya vs Rwanda 4pm
Uganda Cranes captain Emmanuel Okwi is happy the defending champions finished as Group C leaders with nine points from three games, but is cautious the Cranes will have a hard day at office facing Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars in the last eight, who finished second in Group B, this weekend in Mombasa.
The ‘Cranes have shocked Taifa Stars twice this year in qualifiers of the African nations championship both in Dar and Kampala but Okwi who spent three years at Tanzanian club Simba SC rates Kim Poulsen’s side highly.
“It would be foolhardy to take Tanzania for granted after they achieved good victories over Burundi and the Somalia,” Okwi told RedPepper Online edition from Nairobi on Friday morning.
“They held former Africa Cup of Nations champions Zambia last week and that is sufficient warning for us,” he stressed.
Against Sudan, Khalid Aucho scored his first goal for the senior Cranes but there was little to write about the first half at Nyayo in the game between Uganda and Sudan, with the front three of Daniel Sserunkuma, Emmanuel Okwi and Vincent Kayizzi not getting out of the blocks.
But with Micho Sredojevic, the Cranes coach, introducing Brian Majwega in place of the quiet Sserunkuma at half time, things improved.
And belong long; Tusker FC midfielder Aucho dispossessed a Sudanese player outside the 18-yard box, unleashing a shot past goalkeeper Ali Abdelrahman’s goal for a 47th minute lead.
Then heavy rain poured, forcing players into high balls. Okwi could have extended Uganda’s lead but was kept out by Ali.
Dangerous Mazembe duo
TP Mazembe duo of Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu marked their first appearances against Burundi in the tournament following their return from club duties.
In form striker Mbwana Samatta connected a well curled cross from Mrisho Ngassa with a solid header to score the only goal of the game in the eighth minute.
With this result, Stars finish with a total of seven points from two wins and a draw as they march on to the quarters.