Jamal Salim saved two penalties and converted the winner as El Merriekh eliminated Uganda’s representatives KCC FC 3-0 on penalties to reach the CECAFA Kagame Cup finals.

Following a 2-2 draw after extra time, the ex-KCC FC goalie turned guns against his former employees saving twice in the shootout before slotting home the winner. 

El Merriekh started brightly and almost took a lead inside the first minute after Allan Wanga intercepted Rogers Lukwiya’s back pass and laid a low pass to Mohammed Traore but his shot hit Richard Kasagga on the goal-line.

KCC FC’s first real threat on goal came in the 11th minute when Brian Umony’s shot after receiving a ball from Owen Kasule was saved by Jamal Salim for a corner which the defence cleared.

Four minutes later, Traore tried his luck with a long range shot but Yasin Mugabi was up to the task.

On the half hour mark, Umony shot wide and wild from a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard area after Tom Masiko had been brought down.

Traore broke the deadlock with a low shot after an interchange of passes down the right flank with Ayman Said Mohammed and Mohammed El Basher which left the left the entire KCC FC back-line beaten.

This prompted coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe to withdraw defensive minded Rogers Lukwiya for William Wadri but the Sudan side remained resilient as the first half ended 1-0 in their favour.

Nsimbe yet again made another substitution at the start of the second half bringing on Herman Wasswa for left fullback Habib Kavuma a move that pushed Majwega to left fullback.

With more numbers in attack now, KCC FC looked more threatening and Wadri almost equalised but his shot inside the 18 yard area was well dealt with by Jamal.

The moment came in the 50th minute when Tom Masiko received a wonder ball on the edge and shot into the roof of the net beating Jamal on the near post.

Four minutes later, Traore nearly restored El Merriekh’s lead after beating Mugabi in the air after a cross Ismail El-Sidig Adam but Kasagga was at hand to clear on the line.

Umony came close to putting KCC FC into the lead for the first time in the game but Jamal Salim did well to save his side.

In the 69th minute Ragi Abdalate Abdallah restored El Merriekh’s lead with an easy tap in after Mugabi parried Traore’s shot into his path.

The lead lasted for only 14 minutes as Brian Umony leveled matters after controlling Wadri’s pass before hitting it hard past Salim.

El Merriekh nearly won it in the 91st minute when Traore beat almost everyone in KCC FC defence but Mugabi was alert forcing 90 minutes to end 2-2 apiece.

In extra time both teams came close with Traore and Allan Wanga nearly scoring for El Merriekh while Umony’s header hit the cross bar.

Extra time saw no change to the score line leaving penalties to decide who goes to the finals.

In the shootout, Salim Jamal was once again the saviour as he saved Majwega and Umony’s spot kicks while Masiko missed the target before Jamal netting the winner himself.

Only Allan Wanga missed for El Merriekh as Gabril Balla, Faisal Moussa Hussein and Jamal Salim converted.

El Merriekh will now face the winner between Police FC and APR FC who face off later today

It was sweet revenge for El Merriekh who were eliminated by KCC FC in the CAF Champions League earlier this year.

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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