5 December 2012

Uganda/Tanzania: Cranes Face Tanzania in Semis

For the third straight year, Uganda will face Tanzania for a place in the Cecafa Cup final, write Moses Mugalu and Elly Kyeyune.

The Cranes were the last team to make the last four yesterday, thanks to a 2-0 win over Ethiopia. The result extends Uganda's tournament unbeaten run in normal time, which stretches back to 2007, when they lost to Rwanda at the semifinals.

Such is Uganda's dominance that Bobby Wlliamson's men have won three of the past four editions and, barring an upset, they look odds-on favourites to win a record 13th title. Goals by Geoffrey 'Baba' Kizito and Robert Ssentongo were enough to see off the battling Ethiopians, who created several scares for the Cranes defence before running out of steam late on.

Lead striker Brian Umony fluffed a one-on-one in the first half before he was substituted with a suspected injury. It remains to be seen if Umony will be fit for the semis. But with or without him, Williamson's men are focused on keeping the title on home soil. The win maintains Uganda's perfect run in the tournament, where they have won all matches without conceding a goal.

Uganda and Tanzania have met in the Cecafa semis in the past two editions, each winning once. Going by form, the matchup should be a showdown between the meanest defences against the best attack.

In John Bocco and Mrisho Ngassa, Tanzania have the tournament's most potent attack, having scored five goals each. But the four-man wall of Dennis Guma, Isaac Isinde, Henry Kalungi and Godfrey Walusimbi are yet to concede. Come Thursday, the score will be settled at Namboole.

Earlier yesterday, Mike Baraza scored Kenya's lone goal, as they beat Malawi, to book a semifinal showdown with Zanzibar.

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