Uganda Cranes Regional Tours 2017:
- West Nile Select 1-0 Uganda Cranes
Thousands of enthusiastic football fans were witnesses as West Nile’s crafty winger Rashid Okocha buried off the Uganda Cranes at the intimidating Bar Okoro Stadium in Paidha, Zombo district on Sunday.
This was the second loss for the national team since the Regional Tours’ inception in 2014.
Ironically, the last loss was against the same West Nile side albeit at the Green Light stadium back then in May 2015.
Okocha was the tormentor this time round in Zombo to match Ceasar Olega’s strike in Arua two years ago at the Green Light Stadium.
Right from the onset, the home side seemed and proved that they were the better, hungrier and dangerous side asserting they had a clear mission to accomplish.
Former Uganda U-17 star player Joel Jangeyambe combined well with Nkumba University midfielder Solomon Ovoyo, Fred Amaku and the day’s hero Okocha as they dominated the precious midfield zone.
Okocha beat Kirinya-Jinja S.S goalie Tom Ikara with a great loop 28 minutes into the opening half to send the mammoth crowd that included the State Minister for Energy and Paidha Member of Parliament, Simon Du’Janga into excitement.
Uganda Cranes skipper on the day, Ibrahim Saddam Juma tested goalie Data Saidi with a free-kick before Yayo Kato Lutimba had another set piece blocked by the wall.
The national team’s best chance of the half fell to Shafiq Kagimu whose effort after a spilled ball in his path by goalie Data following a free-kick from Lutimba went over the bar in the 37th minute.
The Cranes never recovered heading to the mandatory half time recess.
Micho made 9 changes as the second half started introducing stylish U-17 graduate Pius ‘Iniesta’ Obuya among others.
Obuya almost rewarded the gaffer’s faith when he narrowly shot wide after a great teasing grounded ball played in by Joseph Ssemujju from the left.
Referee Oloya took a right decision to disallow a goal headed home in the latter stages of the match.
For the rest of the second half, there were no clear cut chances created as the game ended in favour of the West Nilers.
The crowd jubilated wildly following yet another famous victory.
Micho impressed by performance and passionate crowd
The national team head coach Micho hailed the performance of the West Nile team and appreciated the home fans.
He also believes the players employed in the match are on a perfect learning curve.
It is not by mistake the West Nile region has produced two clubs in the last four of the Uganda Cup for the past two years. The region is passionate about football.
About the team i fielded. They are learning crop and happy that three to four players are good to be monitored for continuity
The regional tours are co-sponsored by Airtel Uganda and Nile Breweries Limited with the main intention of taking the national team closer to the populous in their respective localities.
West Nile XI: Saidi Data (G.K), Erick Oyirwoth, Abdul Rahman Andima, Khalid Odagiu, Sabir Nesta, Joel Jagyembe, Creamio Abang, Oso Aniku, Fred Amaku, Solomon Ovoyo, Rashid Okocha
Subs: Saidi Siraji (G.K), Jerry Jakisa, Saviour Anzuvuku, Mahad Swaibu, Akbar Khamis, Ibrahim Dada, Brian Olega
Head coach: Swaibu Waku
Uganda Cranes XI: Tom Ikara (G.K), Allan Drajua, Yayo Kato Lutimba, Rashid Toha, Julius Mutyaba, Victor Aweko, Rahmat Senfuka, Shafik Kagimu, Muhammed Shaban, Ibrahim Saddam Juma (Captain), Steven Mukwala
Subs: Muhammad Ssekeba (G.K), Fred Okot, Hassan Musana, Ibrahim Kibumba, Brian Nsubuga, Nicholas Kasozi, Hudu Mulikyi, Joseph Ssemujju, Anwar Ntege, Brian Aheebwa, Patrick Kaddu, Brian Lubega, Pius Obuya
Head coach: Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic
Center Referee: William Oloya
1st Assistant Referee: Ben Adroel
2nd Assistant Referee: Musa Howard
4th official: Rahman Atiku
Match Commissioner: Mike Letti