Uganda and Rwanda face off for the first time in a World Cup qualifier with back to back fixtures in the qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022.
Rwanda host the first leg on Thursday October 7 at Stade Kigali, Nyamirambo while Uganda will be hosts three days later at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende.
The meetings will be the 34th and 35th in history of this regional rivalry but the past have mainly been in CECAFA Cup and International Friendlies and a few in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ahead of the two fixtures heightened by the current political standoff, we look at the four memorable previous clashes.
August 1, 1998 Uganda 5-0 Rwanda (Afcon Preliminary Round)
The biggest win by the Cranes against the Amavubi ever as they thrashed the neighbours 5-0 at Nakivubo War Memorial stadium.
Magid Musisi (RIP) grabbed the headlines for netting a hattrick including a first minute goal while Joseph Mutyaba and Phillip Obwiny scored the other.
Cranes XI: Hussein Ssali (GK), Ibra Sekagya, Arthur Byasiima, Sulaiman Tenywa, Wilbur Musika, Edgar Watson (Lawrence Musoke 65’), Livingstone Mbabazi (Joseph Mutyaba 38’), Phillip Obwiny, Kefa Kisala, Magid Musisi, Willy ‘Jamil’ Kyambadde (Jackson Mayanja 61’)
Goals: Musisi 1’, 43’, 47’, Obwiny 42’, Mutyaba 83’
Coach: Asuman Lubowa
Rwanda XI: Claudien Abisa, Hamid Ndikumana, Dieudonne Hategekimana, Jean Baptsite Kayiranga (Thierry Hitimana 46’), Zapy Mola, Jean Ndagano (Billy Sakombi 46’), Jeandedieu Nizeyemana, Jean Ntagwabira (Alafu Bulanga 76’), Kassim Rugamba and Abdul Uwimana
Coach: Dragon Popadic
March 29, 2003 Rwanda 0-0 Uganda (Afcon 2004 qualifier)
Thousands of Uganda made the trip to Kigali by road for this memorable encounter.
The Cranes had overcome Ghana in the first fixture in Group 13 and were favourites to clinch all points but the match ended in a disappointing goalless draw.
Under Coach Paul Hasule, the Cranes had players like Posnet Omwony, Godfrey Kateregga, Edgar Watson, Hassan Mubiru, Nestroy Kizito and Phillip Ssozi among others.
June 7, 2003 Uganda 0-1 Rwanda (Afcon 2004 qualifier)
If the first leg in Kigali was disappointing, then the reverse fixture was even more devastating.
Under the stewardship of Argentine Pedro Pasculli, the Cranes were overwhelming favourites but ended up on a losing note at the Mandela National stadium, Namboole.
Jimmy Gatete scored a 40th minute winner for the Amavubi but the match will be mostly remembered for the fight between both sets of players on the pitch.
The fixture marked the end of Pasculli’s short reign with the Cranes claiming he had ‘never seen’ what transpired on the pitch as Ugandan players led by Abubaker Tabula fought to remove alleged ‘Juju’ from the Rwanda goal.
Cranes XI: Posnet Omony, Godfrey Kateregga, Peter Lwebuga, Timothy Batabaire, Sulaiman Tenywa, Edgar Watson, Phillip Ssozi, Hakim Magumba, Ekuchu Kasongo, Hassan Mubiru Abubaker Tabula
December 10, 2011 Rwanda 2-2 Uganda (CECAFA Cup 2011 Final)
One of the most exciting Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup finals in history.
Meddie Kagere scored in the 51st minute to give the Amavubi a lead at the National stadium, Dar es Salaam before Isaac Isinde cancelled out the goal with a leveller in the 77th minute.
Kagere restored Rwanda’s lead two minutes later but Emmanuel Okwi made it 2-2 in the 80th minute to send the game into extra time and later penalties.
In the shootout, Uganda won 3-2 with Andrew Mwesigwa, Hamis Kiiza and Isaac Isinde converting. Habib Kavuma and Moses Oloya missed.
For Rwanda, only Kagere and Haruna Niyonzima converted from the spot as Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Gasana and Kagabo missed.
Ironically, Micho was the coach of the Amavubi.
Kagere and Niyonzima who were part of that match are still playing for Rwanda and are in the squad to face Uganda.