Uganda, Rwanda Set For CECAFA Opener

Group C today (Matches on SS9E)
Sudan v Eritrea (2pm)
Uganda v Rwanda (4pm)

Defending champions Uganda Cranes start their title defence against Rwanda in Machakos, Kenya today in their opening 2013 Cecafa Cup Group B match seeking a positive start in the competition.

MpandeFor the first time since Uganda Coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic and Rwanda parted ways, the two subjects will come up against each other Friday in a competitive encounter in the regional Cup.

Sredojevic led Uganda against Rwanda in a friendly just over 10 days ago that ended even. But there will be no friendly fire this afternoon in Machakos where Sredojevic will be out to teach his former employer a few lessons.

“I am not bitter at the way I left Rwanda. I’m not vengeful. I just want to help Uganda win,” said Sredojevic, who will be up against his former mate on the Rwanda bench, Eric Nshimiyimana.

The last time Uganda and Rwanda were pooled together at the group stage of the Cecafa tournament was in the 2008 championship.

Then, Cranes eliminated the Amavubi crushed Amavubi 4-0 at Namboole. The Uganda coach labelled Pool C as the ‘group of death’.

The coach said the team is generally ready to take every game seriously because this is a long tournament where every match matters.

“It would be good to start with a win and that is what we shall be pushing for in Machakos,” added the coach during an interview on Wednesday.

However Emma Okwi and Yanga striker Hamis Kiiza did return to training at City Stadium yesterday having missed the previous day’s session through a hurting joint and a rib knock respectively, they were seen to still be struggling.

Uganda’s second game after Rwanda will be on December 2 against Eritrea still in Machakos.

Rwanda reeling

Amavubi Stars head coach Eric Nshimiyimana has warned it will be a tough clash. While Rwanda came into the tournament looking for only their second title, the opponents Uganda are chasing a record-extending 14th title, and will be favourites to win today’s game.  However, Nshimiyimana remains focused on a win which could bolster his team’s campaign for the title.

“We need to win this game, because it is the first game and a win would give players more confidence ahead of the remaining group matches. There is nothing to fear, what we have to do is to play our game and try to score goals,” Nshimiyimana intimated by phone from Nairobi.
We will not only need to play collectively as team but also need to be at our top game because to play well and win against teams like Uganda, you need to give your best, the coach explained.

Uganda Probable XI : Benjamin Ochan, Nicholas Wadada, Geoffrey Walusimbi, Savio Kabugo, Richard Kasagga, Khalid Awucho, Baba Kizito(C), Joseph Mpande, Dan Sserunkuma, Brian Majwega

Rwanda Probable XI: Luc Ndayishimye , Emery Bayisenge, Fitina Omuburenga, Solomon Nirisarike, Batiste Mugiraneza, Jean Iranze, Haruna Niyonzima (C), Mohammeed Mughniyimana, Mwemere Ngirishuti, Meddi Kagere  Jacques Tuyisenge.

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