El Merriekh FC may have emerged victorious at the 2014 CECAFA Kagame Cup, but Burhaneldin Yousief wasn’t the only coach who watched his players shine in Rwanda.
Wilfred Bolou enjoyed a fine tournament before his side exited at the quarters, Brian Majwega tormented opposition defences in the Yellow and Blue of KCC FC, Ismael Nshutinamagara helped APR FC reach the finals.
With the two week tournament now finally done, Kawowo Sports’ Ismael Kiyonga picks his team of the tournament.
GK: Jamal Salim (El Merriekh):
He twice ensured his side’s success in the shootout at the hands of Azam FC and KCC FC in the quarter and semi-finals respectively and was immense in the finals. He showed why El Merriekh had to fork out $ 40,000 for his services. A big presence as the last line of defence.
RB: Karim Niyizigimana (Rayon Sport): It was a tournament not short of good right backs but none beats the Burundian to the spot. The right back didn’t only defend superbly but was huge going forward. He created most of Rayon Sport’s goals through his marauding runs down the right.
LB: Ayman Said Mohammed (El Merriekh): The Egyptian’s versatility has seen him play as an anchorman, attacking midfielder, right back and left fullback through the tournament. His game reading, tackling and passing were up there with the best.
CB: Pascal Serge Wawa (El Merriekh):
He was as hard as a rock. A good game reader with the brain to initiate attacks from defence. Sometimes the ball could go past him, the other the opponent did but never did they go together. Best defender in the tournament.
CB: Ismael Nshutinamagara (APR FC): What APR FC lacked upfront, the team skipper offered at the back. Calm and collected with true leadership abilities. Captained a youthful side to the finals and always a big influence at the back.
CAM: Wilfred Bolou (Azam FC): The Ivorian import was by far the best box to box midfielder in the tournament. Bolou’s range of passing coupled with the ability to intercept opponents’ play was a joy to watch. Besides, he has the muscle to shoot from any distance and scored a beauty against Benadir from long range.
DM: Amir Kamal (El Merriekh FC): The think tanker of the experienced El Merriekh side. Kamal dictates game tempo and is a good passer of the ball be it short or long. The unsung hero of the champions.
AM: Brian Majwega (KCC FC): If Brian Umony was the driver of the KCC FC team; then Majwega was the navigator. Won three Man of the Match awards and scored important goals for the club in 2-1 and 3-1 victories over Gor Mahia FC and Atlabara FC respectively. The tournament’s best creative and entertaining player.
AM: Fuadi Ndayisenga (Rayon Sport): The Rayon Sport skipper scored arguably the best goal of the tournament with a thunderbolt strike against APR FC in the quarters. A good passer of ball, athletic and disciplined thus deservedly fits in the team of the tournament.
FWD: Brian Umony (KCC FC): He won the golden boot with five goals scoring in all but one game against APR FC. A bury for defenders and lethal for his side. His goals deserved better than finishing fourth in the tournament.
FWD: Mohammed Traore (El Merriekh): He started the tournament on a slow noted but ended it on a high. A massive forward who can lead the line on his own and still hurt opponents. He is a great dribbler with an eye for goal though he can be frustrating with his low work rate without possession. Three goals and two assists to his name is enough testimony to what he can offer.
COACH: Burhaneldin Yousief (El Merriekh)
He tactically nailed it from game one in the tournament. Changed strategy and tactics for each opponent and made right choices be it in starting xi or substitutions. Coach of the tournament by far.
Olivier Kwizera (GK) (APR FC), Hakim Ssenkumba (KCC FC), Yannick Mukunzi (APR FC), Mohammed El Basher (El Merriekh FC), Andrew Buteera (APR FC), Moussa Mutuyimana (Police FC), Jacques Tuyisenge (Police FC), Sebit Ajak (Atlabara FC), Salum Abubaker (Azam C), Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth (Gor Mahia FC).
GK – Goalkeeper RB: Right Back LB: Left Back CB: Centre Back DM: Defensive Midfielder CAM: Central Attacking Midfielder AM: Attacking Midfielder FWD: Forward.