Jinja SS players players during a limbering session prior to the quarter final clash against Bulo Parents (Photo: David Isabirye)
Jinja SS players players during a limbering session prior to the quarter final clash against Bulo Parents (Photo: David Isabirye)

2019 Copa Coca Cola Football Championship:

Semi-finals: Friday, 17th May

  • 2 PM: St Mary’s SS Kitende Vs Buddo SS
  • 4 PM: Jinja SS Vs Standard High School, Zana

*Both games at Kakindu Stadium, Jinja

Every team that has played against Jinja Secondary School at the 2019 Copa Coca Cola football championship has had a stern test to contain both the team and the noisy fans.

The only remaining home-based school takes on Wakiso region representatives Standard High Zana in the second semifinal at Kakindu Stadium in Jinja on Friday evening.

Bar the unquestionable quality of the team with exceptional individual characters, the team also has a great technical bench and above all, the supportive home crowd.

Part of the crowd watching the Copa Coca Cola football championship at Kakindu Stadium in Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)

First things first, Jinja SS, winners of this championship in 2017 during the event held in Masaka has a good team led by two Uganda U-17 players Edrine Opaala Mukisa and Isma Mugulusi.

Fresh from the AFCON U-17 championship in Tanzania with Uganda Cubs, these two diminutive players have been the engine and fulcrum for the side that also has a robust goal-scoring ace, Lawrence Tezkiya.

Incidentally, Tezikya was also top scorer at last year’s Copa championship held in Mbarara.

Lawrence Tezikya goes acrobatic to celebrate one of his 12 goals (Photo: David Isabirye)

These three players; Tezikya, Opaala and Mugulusi define Jinja SS at a time their star midfielder Vincent Zziwa who plays with Kirinya-Jinja SS in the Uganda Premier league is struggling to make an impact.

Isma Mugulusi in action against Bulo Parents during the group stages. Jinja SS won 1-0 and against won against the same opposition during the quarter finals in penalties (Photo: David Isabirye)

Enter, Standard High Zana. The Wakiso based school owned by FUFA first vice president Justus Mugisha never stops to shock many at such tournaments.

Over the years’ they have progressed to the final stages of this tournament virtually unnoticed although they are yet to win this prestigious trophy.

Standard High Zana has a poster boy in SC Villa’s midfielder cum forward Abdallah Salim.

Abdallah Salim (left) is a special player for Standard High School – Zana (Photo: David Isabirye)

Abdallah is virtually the face of Standard High Zana team. Whenever he sneezes, the rest of the teammates catch a cold.

From the individual brilliance, leadership and unquestionable work ethic, Abdallah has it all.

The rest of the players as Aaron Okwii, Vincent Suuna and the gangly centre backs supplement to the team’s glory since at the end of the day football remains a teamwork sport that individualistic.

Aaroon Okwii (shirt 9) will lead Standard High School – Zana front line (Photo: David Isabirye)

Technical benches:

Jinja SS has the experienced pair of Hassan Zzungu and Abbey ‘Capello’ Kikomeko.

This duo is a known entity and preacher of offensive football. Little wonder, they have managed to score in all, apart from the goal-less quarterfinal clash against Bulo Parents.

Both Zzungu and Kikomeko will have to combine energies and ideas to come up with a bold winning strategy against a boggy Standard High School – Zana side.

Jinja SS officials will need to read their tactics well (Photo: David Isabirye)
Abbey Bogere Kikomeko’s experience is key for Jinja SS on the technical bench (Photo: David Isabirye)

At the helm of this Standard High School – Zana team are two former old students at the institutions, Joakim Mukungu and Steven ‘Tanka’ Mubiru.

Mukungu who was a decent left back in his hey playing days works hand in hand with a former hard tackling midfielder Mubiru.

They have been able to compare notes right from the gruelling group stages, through from the round of 16 and quarterfinal to the semifinal.

Therefore, the respective technical bench with the better tactics on the evening will smile home with the victory and a slot in the finals to face either St Mary’s SS Kitende or the defending champions Buddo in Saturday’s finale.

David Isabirye

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

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