CHAMPIONS of Tanzania, Simba and APR of Rwanda are in the highlight match on Monday at the Cecafa Kagame Cup championship in Dar es Salaam. But the battle for which teams qualify for the knock-out round from three teams remained on edge after Sunday matches.
It emerged that each of the three groups have three strong teams fighting for quarter finals slots but only two make it through automatically from each group. Two other “best loser” teams from across the groups join the last eight.
Kenyan champions Gor Mahia blew a 2-0 halftime lead to draw 2-2 with Rwanda’s Rayon Sports at National Stadium on Sunday leaving themselves some work to day in Group ‘B’ which has Rayon, Lydia Ludic (Burundi) and surprise package AS Ports of Djibouti all in contention. The Djibouti team, AS Sports, already has three points after ambushing the more fancied Lydia 2-1 at Azam Sports Complex, Chamazi on Saturday.
In Group ‘A’, JKU (Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi) of Zanzibar took a firm lead of the table after their second victory of the competition — a 2-0 defeat of tournament debutants Kator of South Sudan — and it will now be Kagame Cup defending champions Azam of Tanzania Mainland and Uganda champions Vipers fighting for their lives to go through.
Somalia’s Dakadaha may be out of hope in Group ‘C’ after a 4-0 hiding from Simba last Saturday leaving Simba, Singida United also of Tanzania Mainland and APR in a do-or-die tussle. This afternoon’s Simba/APR clash is of great significance but with a deeper demand for APR to win after their 1-2 setback of defeat by Singida last Friday.
Simba are openly strutting their confidence that this year’s title belongs to them after such a strong performance to win the Tanzania Vodacom League and acquiring such impressive new signing as Rwanda international Meddie Kagere from Gor Mahia. Simba had the luxury of not using Kagere then because his transfer papers had not been complete. But this afternoon, Kagere will be a “Red” (“Wekundu wa Msimbazi”) against APR.
These two last met in a CAF (Confederation of African Football) Confederation Cup Group Stage fixture in Kigali in May and tied 1-1. At the 2018 Cecafa Kagame Cup’s opening match on Sunday, they went 2-2 in a dramatic match, Gor dominating the first half and being overwhelmed in the second by Rayon.
Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge drew the first blood four minutes after the half hour mark with a close range tap in from Ephrem Guikan’s pass and six minutes later, the Cote d’Ivoire import turned provider once more teeing up Humphrey Mieno to double the lead.
Rayon came back a rejuvenated side in the second half to press Gor with their efforts paying off two minutes after the hour mark through Ismail Diarra’s penalty following Charles Momanyi’s handball in the box.
Gor sat back enjoying the lead but forgot to manage the pressure from the opponents whose onslaught pushed the Kenyan side on the back foot. Pierre Kwizera’s stunner two minutes to the final whistle heart broke Gor leaving them with a point in the group, two behind leaders AS Ports of Djibouti.
“We had the game in the first half but Rayon came back strongly and equalised but my players were fatigued in the second half due to many matches we’ve had to play in the last few days,” said Gor assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno.
He added: “We would’ve rested enough before our next match on Tuesday and we will be ready to work for positive results.” His opposite number Brazilian Oliveira Goncalves said the match helped him know his players, eight days after taking over the side from Belgian Ivan Minnaert.
In Gor’s first score, Uganda international utility Godfrey Walusimbi found Francis Kahata whose cross inside the area was intercepted permitting Guikan to easily find an unmarked Tuyisenge for the opener.
And with five minutes to the breather, Rayon custodian Kassim Ndayisenga parried Walusimbi’s 20-yard shot before Guikan lurched onto the loose ball to set up Mieno who rolled the ball on an empty net.
Kevin Muhire tested Boniface Oluoch in Gor Mahia goal with a 14th minute left footed shot, but the veteran goalkeeper punched out for a fruitless corner.
Ernest Wendo’s attempted volley from an Innocent Wafula cross went begging as the men in white shirts failed to deal with threats occasioned by their counterparts in green.
Gor coach Dylan Kerr lined up a strong side led by skipper Harun Shakava and Momanyi in defence, while Ernest Wendo and Mieno partnered in midfield. Kahata, rumoured to be on Simba’s radar, played the anchor role in search of Tuyisenge and Guikan.
K’Ogalo next face Lydia Ludic, while Rayon play AS Ports, with both games slated for Tuesday at Azam Sports Complex, Chamazi.
RAYON SPORTS – 29 Kassim Ndayisenga: 23 Pierre Kwizera (captain), 4 Thierry Manzi, 2 Gabriel Mugabo, 18 Yassin Mugume, 19 Abdoul Rwatubyaye, 21 Olivier Niyonzima, 28 Djabel Manishimwe 17 Eric Ibrambona, 20 Ismailia Diarra, 8 Kevin Muhire
Reserves – 30 Gerard Bikorimana (gk): 15 Faustin Usengimana, 9 Christ Mbondi, 7 Caleb Bon-Fils Bimenyimana, 25 Francois Mugisha, 13 Youssuf Ola Balogun, 16 Sadam Nyandwi
Coach: Carmo Goncalves do Oliveira (Brazil)
GOR MAHIA – 29 Boniface Oluoch: 2 Godfrey Walusimbi, 18 Haroun Shakava (captain), 27 Charles Momanyi, 20 Ernest Wendo, 7 Innocent Wafula, 8 Francis Kahata, 30 Humphrey Mieno, 9 Jacques Tuyisenge, 19 Ephrem Guikan, 25 George Odhiambo Ogutu
Reserves – 16 Shaaban Odhoji (gk); 26 Philemon Otieno, 24 Lawrence Juma, 17 Bernard Ondiek, 11 Samuel Onyango, 14 Kevin Omondi
Coach: Dylan Kerr (England)
Vipers (Uganda) 1-1 Azam (Tanzania Mainland)
Former Gor Mahia [Kenyan Premier League] talisman Dan Sserunkuma struck a spectacular equaliser as Ugandan champions Vipers rallied from a goal down to hold home side Azam 1-1 in a Group ‘A’ Azam Sports Complex, Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
Azam took the lead in the 23rd minute through Shaban Iddi’s 20 yard curling shot that left Vipers goalkeeper Sekajja Bashir helpless, but little did they know what Sserunkuma had in store a minute to the half hour mark. Aggrey Morris misjudged Milton Kalisa’s cross from the right flank allowing an unmarked Sserunkuma to plant home a left footed volley from inside the area, his second goal in the tournament.
Earlier on at the same venue, Zanzibar side Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) overcame Kator of South Sudan 2-0 courtesy of Nassor Matar and Mussa Abrahaman goals.
JKU surprisingly top the group on four points similar to Azam, who have an inferior goal difference while Vipers are third.
VIPERS – 30 Bashir Sekajja: 17 Tadeo Lwanga, 2 Fred Okot, 27 Bashir Asiku, 23 Yayo Lutimba, 12 Rahmat Senfuka, 18 Bryan Nkuubi, 11 Duncan Seninde, 29 Milton Kalisa, 13 Dan Sserunkuma, 28 Geoffrey Wasswa
Reserves – 01 Eric Kibowa (gk): 26 Bryan Kalumba, 5 Pius Wangi, 24 Ashiraf Mandela, 20 Aggrey Madoi, 9 Stephen Mukwala, 16 Ibrahim Kiyemba
Coach: Jorge Miguel da Costa (Portugal)
AZAM – 16 Razak Balora: 6 Aggrey Morris, 3 Abdul Omar Haji, 26 Bruce Kangwa, 21 Oscar Masai, 27 Mudathir Yahya, 8 Salum “Sure Boy” Abubakar, 18 Frank Dumayo, 7 Shaban Iddi, 29 Ditram Nchimbi, 17 Joseph Mahundi
Reserves – 1 Mwadini Ali (gk); 12 David Mwantika, 2 Ramadhani Singano, 24 Yussuf Mbaraka, 22 Yahya Zayd, 10 Enock Atta, 23 Joseph Kimwaga
Coach: Juma Mwambusi (Tanzania)
CECAFA – KAGAME CUP 2018
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 29 – July 13
Group A Group B Group C
Azam (TAN) Rayon Sports (RWA) Singida United (TAN)
Vipers (UGA) Gor Mahia (KEN) Simba (TAN)
JKU (ZAN) Lydia Ludic (BUR) APR (RWA)
Kator (SOUTH SUD) AS Ports (DJI) Dakadaha (SOM)
Qualification format: Top 2 in each group and the best 2 losers qualify for quarter final
|JKU 1-1 VipersAzam 2-1 Kator
Singida United 2-1 APR
|Saturday30/8/2018||45||AS Ports 2-1 Lydia LudicSimba 4-0 Dakadaha||4pm2pm||BC||ChamaziUhuru Stadium|
|Rayon Sports 2-2 Gor MahiaJKU 2-0 Kator
Vipers 1-1 Azam
|Monday2/7/2018||910||Singida United 1-0 DakadahaSimba 1-1 (2nd half) APR||2pm4 pm||CC||ChamaziNational Stadium|
|Tuesday3/7/2018||112||Rayon v AS PortsGor Mahia v Lydia Ludic||2pm4pm||BB||ChamaziChamazi|
|Vipers v KatorAzam v JKU
APR v Dakadaha
Simba v Singida United
|Thursday5/7/2018||1718||Ports v Gor MahiaLydia Ludic v Rayon||6pm6pm||BB||ChamaziNational Stadium|
|Sunday8/7/2018||1920||B1 v A2C1 v Best Loser 2||1st Q2nd Q||National StadiumNational Stadium|
|Monday9/7/2018||2122||A1 v B2C2 v Best loser 1||TBD||3rd Q4th Q||National StadiumNational Stadium|
|Wednesday11/7/2018||2324||SEMISWin 19 v Win 21
Win 20 v win 22
|Friday13/7/2018||25||Play off (Loser 23 v Loser 24)Final Win 23 v Win 24||2pm4pm||National Stadium|