On Tuesday, Uganda Cranes lost 2-0 to the Zimbabwe Warriors in an international friendly match played on the astro turf of Rufaro stadium in Harare City.
Chicken Inn football club defender Tennage Hadebe scored two headers in the 4th and 32nd minutes after loose marking and poor goalkeeping.
Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye was in the Mbare populous township slum sporting facility and caught the game live to rate the Uganda Cranes’ gallant players.
Robert Odongkara (G.K) – 4.5
Prior to the game, the St George goalkeeper had vowed to ably fill the ‘big shoes’ of first choice shot stopper, Dennis Onyango.
Unfortunately, Odongkara did not live the talk. Despite his telling lanky structure, he struggled with the teasing aerial balls played in by Kuda Mahachi and Evans Rusike.
Two soft headers from Hadebe, the Ugandan defence would have done better to thwart that threat.
Quick assembling of the backline is every goalkeeper’s primary role; Odongkara, a former volleyballer at Katabi primary school in Entebbe failed to timely execute on the day.
He recovered steadily after gaining composure and realizing a cricket score would spell doom for his national team career and embarrassment for the treasured Uganda Cranes team.
Denis Iguma – 5
Could have even surprised himself with the workrate he exhibited on the chilly evening despite the two months of inactivity.
Iguma afforded to venture upfront in either halves and won crucial corner kicks for team Uganda.
Like the rest of the defenders, he needs to know who to mark during the set pieces.
His only dirt was the unnecessary booking for a care-less foul on the cheeky Evans Rusike.
Godfrey Walusimbi – 4.5
Started at left back before he was drifted up front when Joseph Ochaya replaced Isaac Isinde at the half time mark.
Walusimbi managed to conduct the customary runs upfront.
He lost possession care-lessly in the first 20 minutes. You will struggle to recall an early cross or delivery he made to the strikers as a flanker.
Isaac Isinde – 4
The St George king pin defender will wish to forget the Rufaro Stadium in a quick flash.
He started on a low note. Late at tackles and loosely marked defenders.
Little wonder, midfielder Hassan Wasswa Mawanda was recalled to the center back to restore parity as he forged a partnership with Murushid Jjuuko for the first time.
Murushid Jjuko – 5
Calm, rough and good defence organizer as usual. He did well to thwart the opposition attackers in Marshall Mudehwe and Charlton Mashumba.
He however is apportioned to the team’s overall blame for conceding too soft goals from a similar fashion.
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda – 6
Second best overall performer on the day. The Al Shorta versatile player started in midfield along Orlando Pirates’ Yassar Mugerwa.
He read the game well and passed at short and long ranges.
He restored calm at the backline when he was drifted to center half to replace Isinde at the half time.
Luwagga William Kizito – 4.5
Played at the attacking wing right position. Hestiated to shot at some moment when Melvyen laid in his path.
For his craftiness, Luwagga offered less to the team goal quest mission.
Yassar Mugerwa – 4.5
Travel fatigue and limited playing time in South Africa would easily spell over the former Nkumba University, Super Cubs and Gomba Lions player, now playing professional football at Orlando Pirates in South Africa.
He could execute the customary passes but offered less support up front. Credited for battling well with Danny Phiri and Polish based midfielder, Andre Gwaze.
A costy handball in the final half almost sent shivers down the spines of the handful of fans at Rufaro stadium but Odongkara parried the effort for a corner.
Geofrey Massa – 4.5
Geofrey Massa’s style of play keeps one hopeful in the mood of a newly wedded virgin with an avalanche of expectations in the fresh marriage.
You will keep defenders on tenterhooks with lung bursting runs full of energy with a hope of a goal in the next minute.
Against Zimbabwe in Harare, Massa shot four times in 45 minutes.
Two were off target, one on spot and the other blocked.
His partnership with Lorenzen was amazing and promising.
Lorenzen Melvyn – 6.5
Arguably the top performer for Uganda in the all white attire.
The English born but Germany raised player was a darling to watch.
Fancy back heels to Okwi and Massa could blind fold you that he has been with the two for the last 24 months.
He shot seven times at the goal post of Dynamos goalie, Tatenda Mukuruva .
Four attempts were on target, two blocked and one kissing the goal bar.
He ran so well throughout the game. The only hope is if paperwork from Germany Government is completed in a record to have him against Botswana.
Sure bet, he will score in Francistown.
Emmanuel Okwi – 4.5
Started in the three man attack with Massa and Lorenzen.
He orchestrated play from the left. Partnered well with the Germany raised player.
Sadly though, Okwi’s shots at goal are hardly recounted even by the powerful Zimbabwe Television cameras the screened the game live.
Joseph Ochaya – 5
Replaced Isinde. Crossed well and defended solidly. One of his corners was headed wide by Edris ‘Torres’ Lubega with acres of space.
Tonny Mawejje – 5
Replaced Yassar Mugerwa. He was captain when Massa left the field of player.
Aucho Khalid – 4.5
Replaced Melvyn Lorenzen at half time. He played defensively. Controlled the red hot Khama Billiat whose fancy step overs sent the whole stadium wild.
Edris ”Torres” Lubega – 4
Replaced team captain Geofrey Massa. He could have scored a free header off Ochaya’s curling corner from the left but headed the ball with eyes closed.
Good playing time for the youngster who broke to prominence from the famous Buganda Masaza football tournament when he guided Singo, then coached by Shafiq Bisaso to success (He top scored with eight goals in the tournament, same as Mol Makweth, now at Citizens school).
Davis Kasirye – 4
Late change for William Luwagga Kizito. The Rayon Sports lanky striker piled pressure in a desperate quest to at least score a consolation.
He had a chance to shoot at goal but hurriedly executed the attempt under a lot of pressure from Elisha Muroyiwa.
Erisa Ssekisambu – 4
Replaced Emmanuel Okwi. Added numbers upfront and his chasing helped to win Cranes crucial corners.
Did Not play: Denis Onyango (Arrived late) and Faruku Miya (Ruled out by doctors after mysterious sickness)