Military Games: Kenya,Uganda draw in football opener

By francis marangu
Aug 07, 2021
  • Ulinzi FC players in a past match. Ulinzi drew 2-2 with their counterparts from Uganda in the East Africa Military Games.(Photo:SNA File0

Kenya’s Ulinzi Stars came from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw with defending champions Uganda Defence Forces in the opening match of the EAC Military Games that kicked off at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday.

This was the only match played on the opening day with the tournament proper expected to begin on Thursday.

Earlier on, President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the official opening of the games noting the event will help to foster confidence building and solidarity among the regional Defence Forces. Kenyatta, who was flanked by Defence Cabinet Secretary Rachel Omamo and her East African Community counterpart Phyllis Kandie, called on the soldiers to seize the opportunity and showcase their great sportsmanship capabilities.

 “I am aware that many of you have had the privilege and will have more opportunities of representing your countries in continental events, world championships and even olympic games. This is a source of pride and inspiration which our governments appreciate.”

Kenya started off the match positively with Kevin Amwayi coming close to opening scores in the sixth minute but his low header landed on the hands of Ugandan custodian Sambangi Harrison.

Three minutes later, Uganda got it right with former Sofapaka midfielder Musa Mudde scoring a tricky free kick right from the edge of the box.

An early injury to Henry Senkugobe saw Uganda suffer setback with a forced substitution as Patrick Gonahasia came in.

Ugandans continued to create more chances but were constantly denied by an alert Francis Ochieng at the Kenyan goal. Kenya endured a similar fate after Oliver Agwanda suffered a knock and was replaced by Salim Mohamed.

In the 26th minute, Kenya defender Hassan Mohamed brought down Edward Nkume inside the danger area and Sebuza Sula converted the spot kick to give Uganda a 2-0 lead.

It was not long before Kenya began to fight back and was rewarded in the 31st minute when captain Evans Amuoka fired a fierce shot from approximately eighteen yards for the first goal.

The second goal came a minute to halftime when Amwayi headed in after Uganda goalkeeper failed to clear a Geoffrey Kokoyo cross.

Concentration lapse cost Ulinzi FC

The second half was cool with no goals coming even though Kenya missed several chances.

Amwayi who was later stretched off with a knock, Stephen Waruru and Amuoka were guilty of squandering golden opportunities that would have gifted Kenya the three precious points.

Salim Ali, Kenya head coach, drew positives from the match saying he was pleased that his young boys connected well with the experienced lot.

“It was a show of character from my players coming from down to tie the match. There was some concentration lapse that cost us the first goal but these are things we will avoid in our next match.”

Ugandan coach Fred Kajoba said it was not a bad result holding the host noting that it was a good way to start as the defending champions.

“We played a very good team and a draw is not bad for us considering that this is a relatively young squad. It will get better for us as we progress.”

The Thursday schedule will begin with Cross Country at Kahawa Barracks.

Women’s 8km race will be the first on the cards at 10am followed by 12km for men at 10:45am. Kenya’s other event for the day will be netball when they play Burundi at 3pm. In football and basketball, Burundi will play Tanzania at 3pm respectively.

Handball will see Tanzania play Uganda at 3pm. Day 2 Fixtures: Cross Country- 8km women (10am), 12km men (10:45am); Football- Burundi vs Tanzania (3pm); Basketball- Burundi vs Tanzania (3pm); Netball- Kenya vs Burundi (3pm); Handball- Tanzania vs Uganda.