Emmanuel Okwi

TODAY, 4PM Uganda vs. Rwanda, Namboole

Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic and his Rwandese compatriot Eric Nshimiyimana will use Saturday’s international friendly game at the Mandela National Stadium, Kampala as a yardstick to shape their squads ahead of the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup to take place in Kenya November 27 to December 12th.

MichoIt is a return of the earlier friendly played in Kigali in February that ended in a 2-2 draw.

“This game will help us to see which players are in good form and where we need to improve ahead of the tournaments ahead,” Cranes coach Micho said on Friday.

Nshiyimana will be up against his former boss, Micho, who left the Amavubi side to coach Uganda in April this year.

“Playing against Rwanda is basically facing a team that I know so well, but that will even make the game more explosive because they will also want to prove a point to the former coach,” added the Serb.

Senior players Emmanuel Okwi, Vincent Kayiizi and defender Godfrey Walusimbi, who left their professional teams in Tunisia, Poland and DR Congo respectively to return to the local league, will boost the Cranes against Rwanda.

The team will, however, miss the services of Dennis Iguma, Simon Okwi and Francis Olaki, who are out injured. In their last game in February in Kigali, Rwanda came from down to draw 2-2.

But the Rwanda side, will be led by two professionals Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga, Tanzania) and Salomon Nirisarike (Royal Antwerp, Belgium).

Ugandan-born striker Meddie Kagere, who features for Rayon Sport in Rwanda, will lead Amavubi’s attack as he hopes to increase his goal tally for the national team.

Nshimiyimana cautious

Amavubi players will have to be at the top of their game to beat Uganda their coach Nshimiyimana has cautioned.

“We shall need a collective effort from all the players because Uganda Cranes is a very good team with more experienced players who have also played together for some time,” Nshimiyimana said. The team left for Kampala yesterday ahead of today’s clash.

“It’s a friendly but believe me, each team will be out to try and win.  I think it is going to be an interesting match between two teams that love to outdo each other,” Nshimiyimana added.

The former Amavubi midfielder, who was part of the team that beat Uganda 1-0 (thanks to Jimmy Gatete’s sole strike) in the infamous 2004 Nations Cup qualifier, said he would have a good idea of his starting team before kickoff.

“We know, we are going to play with a good Ugandan side that has an excellent home record in Namboole, but we have to try to score goals and defend well too,” admitted the Amavubi coach.

Nshimiyimana said the game will help the Amavubi players to build their fitness and mental strength ahead of the Cecafa tournament,” he noted.

“We are a team and we know that we have to work together if we want to achieve our objective to do well in the CECAFA and other competitions,” he explained.

Probable Line-ups

Rwanda:Jean Claude Ndoli  (GK-Captain) Ismael Nshutiyamagara –  Fitina Ombelenga – Salomon Nirisarike- Ngirinshuti Mwemere Jean Baptista Mugiraneza Haruna Niyonzima-Jean Claude Iranzi – Jean d’Amour Uwimana-Jacques Tuyisenge – Meddie Kagere

Uganda: Benjamin Ochan (GK) Nicolas Wadada – Savio Kabugo – Richard Kasagga – Godfrey Walusimbi-Ivan Ntege –Joseph Mpande-Said Kyeyune-Emmanuel Okwi (Captain)–Frank Kalanda – Brian Majwega

Head to head Matches 30
Uganda wins – 11
Rwanda wins – 9
Draws – 10
Uganda losses – 9
Rwanda losses – 11

Previous encounters
06.02.2013: Rwanda 2-2 Uganda – friendly
10.12.2011: Rwanda 2-2 Uganda, 2-3 via penalties – Cecafa final
13.12.2009: UGA 2-0 RWA – Cecafa final

01.01.2009: UGA 4-0 RWA – Cecafa group
20.12.2007: UGA 0-1 RWA – Cecafa semis

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