Joackiam Ojera crosses the ball during URA's non-scoring draw against Al Masry at St Mary's Stadium, Kitende (Credit: John Batanudde)

CAF Confederation Cup 2021 (Match No. 51):

  • URA (Uganda) 0-0 Al Masry (Egypt)

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club shared the spoils with Egyptian side Al Masry during a goal-less draw in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, October 16, 2021.

It was a game of completely two different halves with the visitors dominating the opening stanza and URA, missing several of their star players (because of COVID-19) recovering to topple over in the second half.

Al Masry missed the opportunity to take the lead in the 13th minute when defender Amr Ramadan Mousa watched in disbelief as his kick hit the lower right bottom post.

The penalty moment came in the 13th minute following a foul on Iwuji by defender Fesali Najib.

URA goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi Legason (Credit: John Batanudde)

Mousa’s resultant shot hit the lower bottom post as goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi Legason had also dived towards the right direction and the rebound by Eze Emeka was way over the goal.

From as early as the second minute, Al Masry showed the intent to attack the opposition from the on-start.

Mohamed Abdelaal had a free-kick from 25 yards easily collected by goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi.

Almost immediately, lead forward Amamchi Iwuji tapped over from close range off a cut back by Abdelaal on the right flank

Karim Eleraky takes on Joackiam Ojera (Credit: John Batanudde)

URA’s first attempt towards Al Masry arrived in the 8th minute following a quickly taken throw-in from left back Derrick Ndahiiro found midfielder Ivan Sserubiri who chipped out to the intended target (Joackim Ojera).

Four minutes later, URA midfielder Saidi Kyeyune executed a free-kick from the right flank but Sserubiri headed the effort to the goalkeeper Ahmed Abdel Wahab.

On the quarter hour mark, Musa Ssali’s cross from the left flank was over the Al Masry goal

Islam Ahmed had a distant shot narrowly off target after 20 minutes.

Three minutes later, URA left back Derrick Ndahiiro reacted faster to thwart Mohamed Abdelaal’s attempt.

Farid Shawky Ali Elmarghany tracks down Saidi Kyeyune (Credit: John Batanudde)

Farid Shawky Ali Elmarghany hit the post in the 25th minute as the visitors intensified their raids to the opposition.

By the half hour mark, URA was playing second fiddle and making desparate attempts to claw back into the game. Winger Joackim Ojera switched wings to the left and immediately made an impact, winning the tax collectors a corner kick.

From the resultant corner kick delivery by Saidi Kyeyune, defender Najib Fesali headed onto the lower post in URA’s nearest attempt of the opening 45 minutes.

L-R: URA players Ronald Dickson Kigongo, Ivan Sserubiri and Paul Patrick Mbowa during a moment in their match against Al Masry (Credit: John Batanudde)

With 10 minutes to wind up the opening half, Ojera raced onto a long ball from the back to set up Ndahiiro who crossed into the area but forward Dickson Ronald Kigongo only brushed the ball

URA midfielder Ivan Sserubiri then had a poorly executed free-kick with five minutes to end the first half.

The closing bright moment for the visitors fell to forward Amamchi Iwuji who tapped over Nafiani Alionzi’s goal after a great cut back by Mohamed Abdelaal.

Upon restart of play for the final stanza, Al Masry skipper Ahmed Kenawi had a cross from the left flank headed out by Islam Ahmed.

Ashraf Mandela takes on Al Masry player (Credit: John Batanudde)

Kyeyune hit out a free-kick after Kigongo was fouled 30 yards in the 48th minute.

URA roving right back Ashraf Mandela had a cross from the right well defended by Islam Ahmed in the 57th minute.

The visitors called for the opening change of the game when Mohamed Ahmed replaced Mohamed Abdelaal after 61 minutes.

Musa Ssali shot out inside the goal area as URA maintained the good show in second half on 65 minutes.

Three minutes later, Al Masry goalkeeper Ahmed Abdel Wahab recovered to soldier on after a knock.

After 72 minutes, Ojera shot straight to the goalkeeper Wahab following a wall pass with Kigongo.

Paul Patrick Mbowa captained URA in absence of the usual Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (Credit: URA FC Media)

Ali Elmarghany Farid Shawky executed a free-kick that is collected by goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi in the 75th minute.

URA’s first and only change of the game came in the 76th minute when left footed midfielder Mikidadi Ssenyonga came on for Ssali.

Moments later, Kyeyune linked up well with Ojera but the latter was foiled by goalkeeper Ahmed Abdel Wahab

With 9 minutes to play, Al Masry called for a double change; Hussein Ali was introduced for Amamchi Iwuji and Ziad Farag replaced Ahmed Kenawi.

Fesali Najib recovered from a muscle strain to push on the for climax of the game.

Hassan Ibrahim free-kick was well pocketed by goalie Alionzi as minutes trickled away.

Mikidadi Ssenyonga in action (Credit: John Batanudde)

On the stroke of full time, Kyeyune’s free-kick after subsistute Ssenyonga was fouled got brushed out by Ali Hussein for URA corner kick.

Haggag Abdelhamid was a late-late change for Al Masry in the place of Islam Ahmed

Davis Ssali, Saidi Kyeyune and Mikidadi Ssenyonga got cautioned for URA.

The return leg will be played on Saturday, 23rd October 2021.

Team Line Ups:

URA XI: Nafian Alionzi (G.K), Ashraf Mandela, Derrick Ndahiiro, Hudu Mulikyi, Fesali Najib, Patrick Paul Mbowa (Captain), Joackim Ojera, Saidi Kyeyune, Davis Ssali, Ivan Sserubiri, Ronald Kigongo

Subs: Benjamin Nyakoojo, Mikidadi Ssenyonga, Faruku Katongole, Arafat Galiwango

Team officials:

  • Head coach: Sam Timbe
  • First Assistant coach: Robert Mukasa
  • Goalkeeper coach: Stephen Billy Kiggundu
  • Team Doctor: Joseph Lubega
  • Equipment manager: Godfrey Ndugga
  • Team manager: Sam Okabo
  • Team doctor: Joseph Lubega
Al Masry XI Vs URA (Credit: John Batanudde)

Al Masry XI: Ahmed Abdelwahab (G.K), Karim Eleraky, Ahmed Kenawi (Captain), Amr Ramadan Mousa, Islam Salem, Farid Shawky Ali Elmarghany, Emeka Eze, Hassan Ibrahim, Islam Ahmed, Mohamed Abdelaal, Amamchi Iwuji

Subs: Essam Mohamed (G.K), Mohamed Elsayed (G.K), Ziad Elaidy, Karim Mahmoud, Mohamed Ahmed, Hussein Ali, Haggag Abdelhamid

Mouaine Chaabani, Al Masry head coach (Credit: John Batanudde)

Team officials:

  • Head coach: Mouaine Chaabani
  • Team manager: Ally Abdelhalim
  • Physical trainer: Mahmoud Mihamed Azouz Safyeldin
  • Medical staff: Aly Ayyad Elsayed Abdou Mohamed
  • Goalkeeper trainer: Ismail Elsayed Hassan Abdelaal
Team captains with the match referees prior to kick off (Credit: John Batanudde)

Match officials:

  • Referee: Ring Nyier Akech Malong (South Sudan)
  • Assistant Referee 1: Madir Gasim Dehiya (South Sudan)
  • Assistant Referee 2: Henry Robert (South Sudan)
  • Fourth official: Michael James Alier (South Sudan)
  • Commissioner: Alexis Redamptus Nshimiyimana (Rwanda)
  • Referee Assessor: Abdi Soud (Tanzania)
  • COVID-19 Officer: Apollo Bugingo Ahimbisibwe (Uganda)

Reactions:

This is a fair result to us because we lost 10 players as we were told at the last moment that they could not be available. Like they missed a penalty, we also missed some scoring opportunities which is part and parcel of the game. I believe we need to improve upon the interception of the ball and trapping of the opponents. We resume preparations for the return leg on Monday and ought to improve upon the mistakes done in the first leg.

Sam Timbe, URA FC head coach
Sam Timbe on the touchline for URA Football Club

This was a positive result. We got a clean sheet from the gam and scoring in Egypt will get us an upper hand. In this particular match, we were demoralized when the COVID-19 results were revealed to us hours before the game. However, we composed ourselves yet again for the match. We are seeking for a goal in the return leg.

Nafian Legason Alionzi, URA FC goalkeeper
Nafian Alionzi Legason addressing the media during the post match press conference after the Al Masry game (Credit: David Isabirye)

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

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