Uganda Cranes line-up vs. Western Region Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • Uganda Cranes National Regional Tours 2017
  • Western Select 1-0 Uganda Cranes
[/media-credit] Western Region select side left back Umar Kato battles for the ball with striker Nelson Senkatuka at Kabale Municipal Stadium Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

There are exactly 7 days to the kick off of Uganda Cranes first qualification match to the CHAN 2018 tournament against South Sudan at Juba Stadium.

The current shape of the locally based team for the national side is worrying especially in defence and the final third of the field.

When the local based stars faced Western Region select team at Kabale Municipal Stadium, it was all evident.

The select side won 1-0 before a noisy, passionate and capacity crowd that included Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda.

Mbarara Football Club defender Bashir Babu converted from the penalty spot for the wildly celebrated rare victory.

[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes line-up vs. Western Region Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Rugunda, before the match lauded the team and the coach in particular , Milutin Sredejovic for guiding the national side back to AFCON after what he termed “so many years”.

After the game, he was smiling ear to ear and rewarded the Western Select team with a million shillings in cash.

Prior to the only goal of the day, either sides were culprits and shy before the goal nets.

[/media-credit] Western Region line-up vs. Uganda Cranes Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Sadat Nsubuga, Alex Mandela, Hassan Kakuru and Yusuf Abato came close for the home team. Goalkeeper Ismael Watenga saved on countless time even when the defence was flat footed.

Proline striker Nelson Senkatuka, in-coming Vipers’ player Tom Masiko, Erisa Ssekisambu and Milton Karisa would have easily made it 4-0 had they made their opportunities count.

The defining moment of the windy evening arrived 12 minutes after restart.

Center referee Paul Turyamureeba called for a penalty following a 50-50 challenge by defender John Adriko on tricky striker Yusuf Abato, who turns out for Nyamityobora Football Club.

[/media-credit] Bernard Muwanga interacts with a ball boy prior to kick off Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Babu calmly and confidently took the responsibility with open hands and sent Watenga the wrong way as he sliced the ball to his left, the goal that ignited deafening cheers from the stands and over the hill Kabale terraces outside the stadium.

In the second half Micho introduced 9 fresh players, maintaining Bernard Muwanga and goalie Ismail Watenga.

In came Lawrence Bukenya, John Adriko, Bassey Methiodius, Julius Malingumu, Shafik Kagimu, Solomon Okwalinga, Simon Sserunkuma, Deus Bukenya and Martin Kiiza.

Defender Savio Kabugo as well as the two goalies Tom Ikara and Saidi Keni were unused substitutes.

[/media-credit] Coach Micho greets Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Viallia Bianomugisha, head coach for the Western select team made three later changes to hold onto the lead.

Michael Muhangi replaced winger Nasir Saddam with 13 minutes to play.

Joseph Akandwanaho came in for the tired though effective legs of Yusuf Abato inside the last 4 minutes and Johnson Turinawe paved way for  Michael Baseme deep in added time.

Denis Otim (G.K), Bruce Rubanza, Brian Owomugisha and Alex Twinamatisko were the unused substitutes for the Western region side.

[/media-credit] Premier Ruhakana Rugubda donated Shs1M to the Western Uganda side Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

This is third defeat that the Uganda Cranes has suffered on the regional tours after losses to West Nile select sides (one at Green Light Stadium and Bar Okoro playground).

[/media-credit] Young traditional performers entertain the guests and fans at half time Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Team Line ups:

Western Region Select XI: Sula Matovu (G.K), Zaid Byekwaso, Umar Kato, Bashir Babu, Johnson Turinawe (89′ Michael Baseme), Cleophus Fiat, Nasir Saddam (77′ Michael Muhangi), Yusuf Abato (86′ Joseph Akandwanaho), Hassan Kakuru, Sadat Nsubuga, Alex Mandela

Subs Not Used: Denis Otim (G.K), Bruce Rubanza, Brian Owomugisha, Alex Twinamatisko

Head coach: Vialli Bianomugisha

Uganda Cranes XI: Ismael Watenga (G.K), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Captain), Brian Majwega, Bernard Muwanga, Rashid Toha,  Nicholas Kasozi, Milton Karisa, Tom Masiko, Nelson Senkatuka, Shaban Muhammad, Erisa Ssekisambu

Uganda Cranes 2nd half team:  Ismael Watenga (G.K), Deus Bukenya, Martin Kiiza, John Adriko, Lawrence Bukenya, Bassey Methiodius, Julius Malingumu, Shafik Kagimu, Solomon Okwalinga, Simon Sserunkuma

Subs Not Used: Tom Ikarah (G.K), Saidi Keni (G.K),Savio Kabugo

Head coach: Milutin Sredejovic

Match Officials:

Center Referee: Paul Turyamureeba

1st Assistant Referee: Emmy Kakooza

2nd Assistant Referee: Gilbert Ngendo

4th Official: Moses Kanyarutokye

Match coordinator: Hajji Abbasi Ssendyowa

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

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