Uganda Cranes players in a prayer session
  • FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers (Group E)
  • Thursday, 2nd September 2021: Kenya Vs Uganda
  • Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi (4 PM) – To be played behind closed doors

It is always a tense and unpredictable moment when neighbors and traditional rivals Uganda and Kenya face off in a football battle.

For the umpteenth time, these two countries shall lock horns in a competitive duel at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on Thursday, 2nd September 2021.

At stake is a slot to the next phase of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

The last two meetings between these two friendly countries ended in stalemates, one goal apiece on 23rd March 2017 and lately 8th September 2019.

By and large, Uganda Cranes still enjoy the advantage with most wins (32) over Kenya in the 77 meetings since 1926. Kenya has won 22 times and the draws are 23.

For starters, this will be the first time ever that these two countries are facing off in any FIFA World Cup qualifier since many of the encounters have been in the CECAFA Cup, African Cup of Nations, Castle Cup, and international friendly matches.

The timing of this match comes when both countries are in transition and building from scratch for a new generation of players.

This will be the first major match for Uganda Cranes since the retirement of the former captain Denis Onyango, midfielders Michael Azira and Hassan Wasswa Mawanda.

Uganda is therefore assembling a new side consolidating on the experienced guards as skipper Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Khalid Aucho, Isaac Muleme, Murushid Juuko, Joseph Benson Ochya, Denis Iguma, and Derrick Nsibambi.

Murushid Juuko during the Uganda Cranes training session. He remains key at the backline given his experience over the years (Credit: David Isabirye)

Key players:

Uganda comes to the match proper with a collection of their own key players across the various departments with Chippa United goalkeeper Isma Bin Watenga, defender Murushid Juuko manning the backline, Khalid Aucho in central midfield, and captain Okwi on the front line.

Of course, there is backup with Iguma, Ochaya, Halid Lwaliwa (in the back), Aucho, Moses Waiswa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, and Isaac Muleme (midfield) with a wide range of choices in attack coming from Nsibambi, Yunus Sentamu, Steven Desse Mukwala and the young star Richard Basangwa.

Captain Emmanuel Arnold Okwi and Milutin Sredojevic sharing a word or two before the last training session at Nyayo National Stadium (Credit: David Isabirye)

Head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic believes Uganda Cranes will utilize the slightest details to get the maximum points.

“Derbies are always determined by the slightest details. We want to pay keen attention to such details and win the game,” Micho disclosed.

Team captain Okwi urged teammates to work as a unit so as to get maximum points in the game.

“We are here in Kenya and shall need maximum teammates for the victory,” Okwi noted.

Uganda Cranes recently lost 2-1 to Ethiopia in the international build-up match played at the Bahir Dar Stadium.

The biggest positive from this match was the improved second-half performance from the visitors that also culminated in Yunus Sentamu’s long-range shot.

Uganda Cranes has been based at the Tamarind Tree Hotel in Nairobi (along Langata road) and held their first session at the Utalii College sports ground before the final training at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Uganda Cranes players and officials pray at Nyayo National Stadium before the last training session on Wednesday, 1st September 2021 (Credit: David Isabirye)


Kenya has a collection of star players who are expected to give Uganda a good run of their own money.

Even without their captain Victor Wanyama, other foreign-based players as the current skipper Michael Olunga (Al-Duhail, Qatar), Masud Juma (Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi, Morocco), Joseph Okumu (KAA Gent, Belgium), Eric Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Richard Odada (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Duke Abuya (Nkana, Zambia), Duncan Otieno (Lusaka Warriors, Zambia) and Eric Johanna (Jonkopings Sondra IF, Sweden) are ready to give 100 percent in the game.

Kenya Harambee Stars in a training session at Nyayo National Stadium (Credit: FKF)

Kenya’s head coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee asserts that he has the firepower to inspire his country to victory.

“We are at home and need to kick-start this campaign on a sound note with a victory,” Mulee stated.

The official pre-match meeting held at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on Wednesday, 1st April 2021 (Credit: David Isabirye)

The closed-door match will be officiated by FIFA Referees from Sudan.

During the official pre-match meeting, it was decided that Uganda Cranes will don all-white attire and Kenya Harambee Stars in their traditional all-red kit.

Uganda Cranes kits manager Samuel Hassan Mulondo shows the white jersey that Uganda will don against Kenya (Credit: David Isabirye)

Kick-off is 4 PM (Live on KBC Television and Azam Sports 2) with timely updates on Kawowo Sports Social Media channels.

Kenya Kits manager shows the red shirt that Kenya Harambee Stars will don during the match against Uganda Cranes (Credit: David Isabirye)

Available Squads:

Uganda Cranes:

Goalkeepers: Isima Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda), Joel Mutakubwa (Express, Uganda)

Defenders: Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Žižkov, Czech Republic), Mustapha Kizza (CF Montréal, Canada), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Joseph Benson Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Murushid Juuko (Express, Uganda), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City, Uganda), Denis Iguma (KCCA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Abdul Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda)

Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Young Africans, Tanzania), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Waiswa (Super Sport United, South Africa), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda),

Forwards: Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi – Captain, Richard Basangwa (Vipers, Uganda), Steven Desse Mukwala (URA, Uganda)

Kenya Harambee Stars:

Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya), Joseph Okoth (KCB, Kenya), Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Brandon Obiero (Kariobangi Sharks)

Defenders: Joseph Okumu (KAA Gent, Belgium), Eric Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Eugene Asike (Tusker, Kenya), Nashon Alembi (KCB, Kenya), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Andrew Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Siraj Mohammed (Bandari, Kenya), Clyde Senaji (AFC Leopards, ), Frank Odhiambo (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Bolton Omwenga (Nairobi City Stars, Kenya), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Baraka Badi (KCB, Kenya)

Midfielders: Richard Odada (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Duke Abuya (Nkana, Zambia), Duncan Otieno (Lusaka Warriors, Zambia), Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka, Kenya), Kenneth Muguna (Azam, Tanzania), Kevin Kimani (Wazito, Kenya), Patillah Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Enock Momanyi (FC Talanta, Kenya), Jackson Macharia (Tusker, Kenya), Eric Johanna (Jonkopings Sondra IF, Sweden), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker, Kenya), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari, Kenya)

Forwards: Michael Olunga (Al-Duhail, Qatar), Masud Juma (Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi, Morocco), Cliffton Miheso (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards), Samuel Onyango (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia, Kenya)

All previous meetings:

  • 01 May 1926: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 03 May 1926: Kenya 2-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 30 Apr 1937: Uganda 9-2 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 05 Aug 1961: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 23 Sep 1961: Uganda 0-0 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 29 Oct 1961: Uganda 2-0 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 05 Jan 1962: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 07 Jan 1962: Uganda 0-1 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 06 Sep 1964: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (East African Cup)
  • 18 Oct 1964: Uganda 3-2 Kenya (Independence Tournament)
  • 28 Feb 1965: Uganda 3-1 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 28 Feb 1965: Kenya 3-0 Uganda (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 28 Sep 1965: Uganda 2-3 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 30 Sep 1965: Uganda 2-2 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 05 Mar 1966: Uganda 2-3 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 03 Apr 1966: Kenya 3-3 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 30 Nov 1966: Kenya 0-0 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 30 Nov 1966: Uganda 1-2 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 30 Jun 1967: Kenya 3-1 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 30 Jun 1967: Uganda 2-1 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 31 Jul 1967: Kenya 3-3 Uganda (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 30 Sep 1967: Kenya 3-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 04 Oct 1969: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 29 Sep 1970: ganda 2-1 Kenya (CECAFA Cup
  • 10 Jun 1972: Kenya 2-0 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 31 Oct 1972: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 16 Sep 1973: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 30 Sep 1973: Kenya 1-2 Uganda (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 04 Nov 1975: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 30 Nov 1977: Kenya 1-3 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 09 Nov 1978: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 19 Nov 1978: Kenya 2-0 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 07 Nov 1979: Kenya 3-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 24 Nov 1981: Kenya 1-0 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 27 Nov 1982: Uganda 1-1 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 12 Nov 1983: Kenya 2-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 15 Dec 1984: Kenya 1-3 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 28 Jul 1985: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 11 Oct 1985: Kenya 0-0 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 11 Oct 1986: Uganda 3-1 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 11 Oct 1987: Uganda 3-1 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 02 Dec 1989: Kenya 2-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 09 Dec 1990: Uganda 2-2 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 04 Dec 1991: Uganda 1-3 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 15 Nov 1992: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 01 Jul 1993: Uganda 0-0 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 04 Jul 1993: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 05 Dec 1994: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 02 Dec 1995: Uganda 0-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 25 May 1996: Uganda 1-1 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 27 Nov 1996: Uganda 2-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 18 Jul 1998: Uganda 3-3 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 16 Apr 2000: Uganda 2-2 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 28 Oct 2000: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (Four Nations Castle Lager Cup – East Africa)
  • 24 Oct 2001: Kenya 0-0 Uganda (Four Nations Castle Lager Cup – East Africa)
  • 03 Aug 2002: Kenya 0-0 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 26 Oct 2002: Kenya v Uganda W      1-1    Four Nations Castle Lager Cup (East Africa)
  • 12 Dec 2002: Uganda 1-3 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 21 Dec 2002: Uganda 0-0 Kenya (African Games)
  • 16 Mar 2003: Kenya 2-2 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 04 Dec 2003: Uganda 1-1 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 07 Aug 2004: Uganda 1-1 Kenya (International Friendly)
  • 18 Aug 2004: Kenya 4-1 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 18 Dec 2007: Uganda 1-1 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 13 Jan 2009: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 07 Dec 2009: Kenya 0-1 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 09 Oct 2010: Kenya 0-0 Uganda (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 05 Dec 2010: Uganda 2-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 08 Oct 2011: Uganda 0-0 Kenya (Africa Cup of Nations)
  • 24 Nov 2012: Uganda 1-0 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 08 Dec 2012: Uganda 2-1 Kenya (CECAFA Cup)
  • 22 Nov 2015: Kenya 2-0 Uganda (CECAFA Cup)
  • 23 Mar 2017: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (International Friendly)
  • 08 Sep 2019: Kenya 1-1 Uganda (International Friendly)

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

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