Friday August 22, 2014

El Merriekh FC (Sudan) Vs KCC FC (Uganda)

Kigali Regional stadium, Nyamirambo @ 3.00pm (4pm EAT)

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Sudan giants El Merriekh will be desperate to avenge this year’s CAF Champions league elimination at the hands of KCC FC when the two sides clash in the semi-finals of this year’s CECAFA Kagame Cup at Kigali Regional stadium, Nyamirambo.

KCC FC won the preliminary round of this year’s CAF tie 3-2 on aggregate after winning 2-0 away in Khartoum before the Sudan side won 2-1 in Kampala.

George ‘Best’ Nsimbe’s charges were 3-1 victors over South Sudan’s Atlabara FC in the last stage whilst El Merriekh needed a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Tanzania moneybags Azam to reach the stage following a goalless normal time draw at the same venue.

KCC FC Team News:

Skipper Sakka Mpiima returns after missing the previous clash against Atlabara due to suspension but goalie Yasin Mugabi will have to pass a late fitness test if he is to feature.

Besides, there are no worries in the KCC FC camp with every player fit and raring to go.

Player to Watch: – Brian Majwega

The left winger is a contender for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament and his individual brilliance is expected to trouble the Sudan side. With two assists and goals to his name, he is undoubtedly KCC FC’s best player and their chances of reaching the finals will most definitely depend on his showings on the day.

KCC FC Probable X1:

Martin Elungati (GK), Sakka Mpiima (C), Habib Kavuma, Ayub Kizza, Richard Kasagga, Hakim Ssenkumba, Tom Masiko, Rogers Lukwiya, Owen Kasule, Brian Majwega and Brian Umony.

El Merriekh Team News:

Coach Burhaneldin Yousief has confirmed that all his players are fine ahead of this clash and is most likely to keep a similar line up that featured against Azam FC in the quarters.

Kenyan import Allan Wanga is likely to once again start on the bench with Malien Mohammed Traore and Gabir Abdu Mohammed leading the line.

Egyptian Ayman Said Mohammed may stay at right back after impressing against the Vodacom Premier League champions.

Player to Watch: – Mohammed El Basher

The El Merriekh skipper is a player with football knowledge who tackles well as well uses the ball efficiently. He has an eye for a good pass and can also score goals as witnessed against Benadir.

KEY BATTLES:

Brian Umony (KCC FC) Vs Pascal Serge Wawa (El Merriekh)

Pace, power and determination. KCC FC striker Umony and El Merriekh centre back Serge Wawa have it all in abundance and they’ll be going up against each other in what’s expected to be a real ding-dong battle for supremacy.

Umony has so far netted three times in the competition and made one assist and is only second to Brian Majwega in importance to the club at the moment while Wawa is the reason El Merriekh kept an electrifying Azam attack at bay for 90 minutes.

As well as his defensive qualities Wawa will also be a threat for El Merriekh going forward with his bursting runs through the middle.

Besides, he is a free kick specialist and thus KCC FC must avoid fouls near the edge of the 18 yard area.

Brian Majwega (KCC FC) Vs Ayman Said Mohammed (El Merriekh)

Majwega is KCC FC’s main creative spark but comes up against a man yet to grab headlines in the tournament but one of El Merriekh’s best so far.

What Majwega has in pace and trickery, Ayman has in tackling and determination. Both are versatile with Majwega able to play on the right and left wings, behind the striker and at left fullback while Ayman started the tourney as the anchorman but has now featured twice as a right fullback a duty he has executed perfectly.

WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

  •         KCC FC and El Merriekh will be meeting for the third time this year. The two sides met over two legs early in this year with KCC FC winning 2-0 in Khartoum and then El Merriekh revenging a with 2-1 victory at Namboole.
  •         Brian Umony and Herman Wasswa are the only two players in the current KCC FC squad that have ever netted against El Merriekh. Umony did it in 2009 in a 1-1 draw away in Khartoum while Wasswa scored the opener in the 2-0 away victory this year. All games were in the CAF Champions league
  •         El Merriekh has won two CECAFA Club championship titles (1986 & 1994) while KCC FC has managed one in 1978.
  •         El Merriekh FC goalie Jamal Salim will face his former side for the first time since joining the club in June this year. He is the only player in both squads to have played for the two teams.

What the coaches say?

George ‘Best’ Nsimbe (KCC FC) – “One of our goal before start of the tournament was to better our previous performances in 2009 where lost at the quarter finals to eventual winners Atraco FC a feat we have already achieved. Next target now is winning the championship and we can only keep that dream by going past El Merriekh FC.”

Burhaneldin Yousief (El Merriekh) – “KCC FC kicked us out of the 2014 CAF Champions league but we are not here for revenge. This is a different competition and our aim is to go as far as we can. We have respect for them but don’t fear them and ready for the challenge.”

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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