CECAFA 2015 Final: Rwanda 0-1 Uganda

Uganda Cranes have won their 14th CECAFA title at the Addis Ababa National Stadium in Ethiopia after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over neighbours, Rwanda.

Burly Express forward, Caesar Okhuti headed home the all-important goal in the 15th minute off a beautifully curled cross from industrious right back Denis Okot.

The two sides hustled and puffed throughout the game but the game’s most important statistic remained static for the opening and subsequent 45 minutes.

Mrushid Jjuuko brought down Jacques Tuyisenge on the far right but the resultant free kick was played wide of goal.

Moments later, the Cranes – who had a perfect record against Rwanda in the finals having won all three coming into this one – went ahead through Okhuti’s powerfully executed free header at the far post off a perfectly weighted cross from Okot.

Birthday boy, Joseph Ochaya, creative midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba and man of the moment Okhuti all took turns on Rwanda’s right defense in the opening half.

Skipper Farouk Miya had a chance to double Uganda’s lead in the 40th minute but his free header off another perfect Okot cross went over the bar.

In the 41st minute, defender, Murushid Jjuuko (of Tanzanian Premier Club, Simba Sports Club), the only Ugandan professional player on the team was booked for elbowing Jacques Tuyisenge.

Uganda coach, Micho Sredojevic, made a change early in the second half, withdrawing Okhuti – who had earlier hit the post on the follow through – for left back Isaac Muleme. 

There was a brief scare for Uganda in the 55th minute when Miya lay unconscious for some moments after a clash of heads with a Rwandan player.

Medics and coach Micho rushed onto the pitch to assess the situation but the player, who had to be driven off in a safety car to be attended to, was later cleared to continue with play.

Ten minutes after play had resumed, Ivan Ntege had a 30-yard effort parried away by the goalie.

Rwanda tried to push for the equalizer and tackled hard in frustration as time ran out. Winger Erisa Ssekisambu, who had a quiet second half, paved way for fellow Vipers’ teammate Kezironi Kizito with 19 minutes left on the clock.

Kizito did some good work on the right to set up Miya inside the penalty area but the skipper couldn’t connect home the glorious ball.

With two minutes of the added three after 90 minutes, Frank Kalanda came on for Muzamir Mutyaba to kill off some seconds and it wasn’t long before Somalian referee, Hassan Muhammed blew the full time whistle much to wild celebrations from the Ugandan contingent.

Uganda Cranes XI: Ismael Watenga (GK) Denis Okot, Joseph Ochaya, Richard Kasagga, Murushid Jjuuko, Bernard Muwanga, Ivan Ntege, Erisa Ssekisambu, Muzamir Mutyaba, Farouk Miya (C) and Ceasar Okhuti


53′ Isaac Muleme for Ceasar Okhuti, 71′ Kezironi Kizito for Erisa Ssekisambu, 93′ Frank Kalanda for Muzamir Mutyaba

Subs Not Used:

James Alitho (GK) Nelson Ssenkatuka, Shafiq Bakaki, Joseph Nsubuga

Rwanda XI:  Eric Ndayishimiye (GK), Haruna Niyonzima(C), Celestine Ndayishimiye,  Abdul Rwatubyaye, Faustin Usengimana, Michel Rusheshangoga, Yannick Mukunzi, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza,  Jean Claude Iranzi,
Jacques Tuyisenge, Savio Nshuti Dominique,

Subs: Olivier Kwizera (GK), Fitina Omberanga, Djihad Bizimana, Yusuf Habimana, Ernest Sugira, Fiston Munezero, Hegman Ngomirakiza

Match Referees:

RefereeHassan Mohamed HAGI – (Somalia)
I Asst refGilbert CHERUIYOT – (Kenya)
II Asst ref Abdullahi AWEIS – (Somalia)
4th OfficialBezezew HAILEYESUS – (Ethiopia)
Match commissionerEjigu ASHENAFI – (Ethiopia)
Referees inspectorAli AHMED – (Somalia)
Tech Study GroupSunday KAYUNI – (Tanzania)
Media officerBadreldin BAKHIT – (Sudan)

Individual Awards:

Man of the Match: Muzamir Mutyaba (Uganda)

Man of the Tournament: Eliyas Mamo (Ethiopia)

Best Goalkeeper: Ismail Watenga (Uganda)

Top Scorer: Atahir Babikiir (Sudan), 5 Goals

Best Coach: Johnny Mckinstry (Rwanda)

Successful years Uganda has won the CECAFA tourney:

1973, 1976, 1977, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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