URA players celebrate one of their goals against Ethiopian Coffee during the first leg at St Mary's Stadium. URA qualified 5-2 on aggregate (Credit: John Batanudde)

CAF Confederation Cup (Preliminary Round, 1st Leg):

  • URA (Uganda) 2-1 Ethiopian Bunna (Ethiopia)

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club triumphed over Ethiopian Bunna (Coffee) 2-1 during the opening leg of the CAF Confederation Cup (preliminary round) at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Sunday.

Fast paced forward Steven Desse Mukwala scored a first half brace for the home side before immensely gifted William Solomon Tesfay pulled a valuable goal for the visitors in the closing half.

The first of Mukwala’s two goals was a header off another headed assist from new recruit Viane Ssekajugo in the 22nd minute.

The second goal came as a curler from30 yards past the diving goalkeeper Abel Mamo Gebreyohans with 8 minutes to play.

Ethiopian Coffee had a false start when their talisman Gudisa Mekonen picked an injury as early as the third minute.

Gudisa returned to the field of play after medication.

Ethiopian Coffee’s William Solomon Tesfay takes on Saidi Kyeyune (URA) at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende [Credit: John Batanudde]

URA’s first attack came in the 5th minute with a long ball from Ashraf Mandela finding Mukwala in off-side position.

Two minutes later, Ahmed Nasir Abubeker had a shot blocked from 35 yards.

Bunna maintained their confidence on the ball and in the 10th minute, captain Gamo had a distant shot collected by URA goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi

URA’s Mandela tried from distance but the effort flew over the bar

On the quarter hour mark, URA captain Shafik Kagimu shot narrowly wide of goal from 20 yards.

Derrick Ndahiro in action against Ethiopian Coffee at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende (Credit: John Batanudde)

It was Kagimu again after 20 minutes, releasing Mukwala but a poor first touch for the latter denied URA an opportunity to shoot to the opposition.

Moments later, Kagimu laid the ball from the left for Cromwel Rwothomio but goalkeeper Abel Mamo Gebreyohas was quicker off the line to tame the threat

Mukwala broke the deadlock with a well-timed header in the 22nd minute.

This followed a decent cross from the left by Derrick Ndahiiro towards Ssekajugo who set up Mukwala with a header.

Five minutes later, Mukwala missed an opportunity to double the score but he miskicked the ball from close range.

With ten minutes to end the opening half, midfielder Saidi Kyeyune  had a corner kick well defended by Tonjo Asrat.

Mukwala made it two with a quality curler from 25 yards after a good swung in cross from the right by Mandela.

The visitors were forced into a substitution when Zalaka Alazare was introduced for Mekonen Gudisa Mikeyas in the 39th minute.

URA goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi pocketed William Solomon Tesfay’s curler from the right flank and Haile Gebretinsae Gebrekirstos shot away off target moments later.

The only caution of the first half came on the stroke of half time for Solomon Tefesse Shewamene.

Gamo shot narrowly wide from 20 yards as the Ethiopians built confidence in the second half.

William Solomon Tesfay pulled a goal back for Ethiopian Coffee with a sublime finish past goalkeeper Alionzi.

He was later cautioned for removing his shirt after scoring.

William Solomon Tesfay chest controls a high ball (Credit: John Batanudde)

URA reacted with a change with the introduction of towering midfielder Ivan Sserubiri for left winger Viane Ssekajugo in the 56th minute.

On the hour mark, Yalew Debalke Endale had a shot blocked by URA defender Fesali Najib.

Kagimu shot off the left foot and the deflection only won them a corner kick.

Rwothomio recovered from a knock to push on after receiving medication.

URA captain Kagimu was replaced by winger Joackiam Ojera with 20 minutes to play as midfielder Paul Patrick Mbowa took over the arm band and leadership duties for the home side.

Mbowa led by example with a distant shot well saved by the goalkeeper  Mamo.

The third change for the tax collectors witnessed Living Kabon take over Rwothimio’s place in the final 10 minute.

Ethiopian Coffee striker Yalew Debalke Endale missed finding the equalizer with a shot narrowly off target

Seyoum Tesfaye Moges replaced Haile Gebretinsae Gebrekirstos in the 85th minute.

URA created at least one more change through substitute Ojera but his laid ball into the area was easily dealt with by the Ethiopian Coffee defenders.

Newly appointed URA manager Sam Timbe made the bench in the closing stages of the game after late “clearance” from CAF.

URA manager Sam Timbe came late on the touchline after late clearance (Credit: John Batanudde)

Timbe later told the media during post match press conference that his late clearance arrived at the opportune timing when the match tempo had changed and the players needed that guidance.

“I thank the players for the brevity and courage to play. I was cleared late to come to the touchline. By that time, it was much needed as the game tempo had changed. I am happy for the victory and we shall plan for the return leg coming up in a week’s time” Timbe, a soft spoken coach revealed.

The return leg will be held on Saturday, 18th September 2021 at the Bahir Dar International Stadium.

URA XI Vs Ethiopian Coffee (Credit: John Batanudde)

Team Line Ups:
Alionzi Nafian Legason (G.K), Ashraf Mandela, Derrick Ndhiro, Hudu Mulikyi, Najib Fesali, Patrick Paul Mbowa, Saidi Kyeyune, Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (Captain), Cromwel Rwothomio, Steven Desse Mukwala, Viane Ssekajugo

Subs: James Alitho (G.K), Joackiam Ojera, Mikidadi Ssenyonga, Living Kabon, Ivan Sserubiri, Benjamin Nyakoojo, Ronald Kigongo, Ibrahim Dada, Faruku Katongole

Ethiopian Coffee XI (Credit: John Batanudde)

Ethiopian Bunna (Coffee XI): Abel Mamo Gebreyohas (G.K),  Abebe Tilahun Feyissa, Wondeminhe Dereji Shewamene, Haile Gebretinsae Gebrekirstos, Asrat Tonjo Toylo, Solomon Shewamene Tefesse, Amanuel Yohannes Gamo (Captain), William Solomon Tesfay, Ahmed Nasir Abubeker, Yalem Debalke Endale, Mekonen Gudisa Mikeyas

Subs: Bereket Amare Kidanu (G.K), Abel Endale Gizaw, Meta Tediros, Redwan Ahmed, Seyoum Tesfaye Moges, Alazare Zalaka, Robel Bahta, Alemu Yeabkal, Nathnael Abreha

URA captain Shafik Kuchi Kagimu and the Ethiopian Coffee counterpart Amanuel Yohannes Gamo with the match officials prior to kick off (Credit: John Batanudde)

Match officials:

  • Center Referee: Elly Ally Sasii (Tanzania)
  • First Assistant Referee: Salim Mkono Mohamed (Tanzania)
  • Second Assistant Referee: Sief Mpanha Kassim
  • Fourth official: Martin Eliphas Saanya (Tanzania)
  • Match commissioner: Sebit Librato Begi Rassas (South Sudan)
  • Referee Assessor: Michel Gasingwa (Rwanda)
  • COVID-19 Officer: Dr. James Sekajugo (Uganda)

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

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