The Zambia Chipolopolo Stars lead the Uganda Cranes 1-0 by the opening 45 minutes of the CHAN 2016 group D fixture at the Umuganda stadium in Rubavu. In the well attended match being played under floodlights, either sides have created scoring opportunities although the breakthrough arrived in the 40th minute when captain Christopher Katongo headed the 2012 African champions ahead.

Cranes’ goalie has had a busy evening at office, thwarting the opposition threats on different counts. The Bright Stars goalie saved a Christopher Munthali’s effort from a Chama cross on the left in the 13th minute. A minute after the quarter hour mark, Zambia’s veteran skipper, Christopher Katongo then missed from close range after his looping effort over Kigonya was cleared off the line by right back, Dennis Okot. Ochaya had a decent cross blasted wide by Ssekisambu in the 18th minute before the latter missed from another Muzamiru Mutyaba delivery two minutes later. Bernard Muwanga got booked for a malicious foul on Katongo three minutes to the half hour mark.

The telling moment of the half arrived in the 40th minute when Katongo met Patson Daka’s free-kick. There is plenty of time and options for the two sides as the second half comes.

Uganda Cranes XI: Mathias Kigonya (GK), Denis Okot, Joseph Ochaya (Captain), Bernard Muwanga, Richard Kassaga, Ivan Ntege, Denis Timothy Awany, Kezironi Kizito, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Erisa Sekisambu, Robert Sentongo.

Subs: James Alitho (GK), Joseph Nsubuga, Isaac Muleme, Martin Kizza, Hassan Wasswa Dazo, Edrisa Lubega, Frank Kalanda, Ambrose Kirya, Geoffrey Serunkuma, Ceaser Okhuti

Zambia XI: Jacoba Banda (G.K), Stephen Kabamba, Christopher Munthali, Isaac Chansa, Christopher Katongo (C), Adrian Chama, Jackson Chirwa, Clatous Chota Chama, Patson Daka, Daut Musekwa, Saluani Phiri Subs: Rachar Kola (G.K), Tresford Lawrence Mulenga (G.K), Solomon Sakala, Donashano Malama, Spencer Sautu, Conldye Luchanga, Mwelwa Mwape, Benson Sakala, George Chilufya, Adamson Mulao, Phiri Mwila

Match Officials: Juste Ephrem Zio – Referee (Burkina Faso) Elvis Guy Noupue Nguegoue – Assistant Referee 1 (Cameroon) Serigne Cheikh Toure – Assistant Referee 2 (Senegal) Hamada el Moussa Nampiandraza – Reserve Referee (Madagascar) Boubacar Diarra – Commissioner (Mali) Essam Abbas Siam – Referee Assessor (Egypt) Nicholas Chumba Musonye – General Coordinator (Kenya) Watson Edgar Nigel Suubi – Technical Study Group (Uganda) Ahmad Mohamed Abdelmonem Makhlouf – Marketing Officer (Egypt)

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

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