Hosts and defending champions of the ongoing CECAFA Tuskar Senoir Challnge cup ( Uganda) will meet their neighbors Kenya in what is dubbed the biggest East African derby in the regional soccer tournament.
Kenya's Harambee Stars were the first qualify for the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup finals after defeating Zanzibar 6 - 4 in a thrilling semi final played on Thursday at Kampala's Nelson Mandela National stadium earlier in the day before Uganda Cranes who beat another East African opponents Tanzania 3-0.
The East African neighbors have several times in different competitions. Over the last ten years Uganda and Kenya have met 8 times with Uganda winning 5 games while Kenya once and have drawn twice.
This is the first time in two years that Kenya is playing at the regional soccer final an achievement that came after they defied all odds to stop hard - fighting Zanzibar side.
Uganda's goals were scored by Robert Ssentongo who scored twice with , Emanuel Okwi scoring one.
Both teams played a fast paced game throughout the match with Zanzibar dominating the first half and Kenya aettling to dominate the second half.
Zanzibar should have taken lead in the 2nd minute when Jaku Juma Jaku, made a sole run on the right but fired off target. Kenya had an open chance to take lead the 10th minute but Mike Baraza shot off target a cross from Kevin Omondi .
Khamis Mcha Khamis struck in the 20th minute after receiving a cross from Suleyman Kassim Seleyman following a mix up in the Kenya defence to give Zanzibar first goal.
But after cutting off the Zanzibar with continuous raids a good combination from Mike Baraza, Ramadhan Mohammed Salim and Clifton Miheso, forced Zanzibar's Nadir "Canavarro" Haroub to head into his own goal in 20th minute. Half time score was 1 - 1.
On resumption both teams searched for a winner with the match looked like would go either way. Aggrey Morris Ambrose scored a 75th minute penalty after David Owino fouled a Zanzibar striker in the box to make it 2 - 1 in favour of Zanzibar. David Oin Odhimbo headed in Kenya's equalizer in the 80th minute to level matters on 2 - 2 at full time. The 30 minutes of extra time time did not yield anything different from both sides as they made attacks and counter attacks.
However the Kenyan camp wa shit by another injury when Victor Ochieng "Randiki" collided with Zanzibar's Adeyon Salem Ahmed inflicting a cut on his head. The Zanzibar player was given matching orders becoming the first player in the tournament to be shown a red card
During the penalty shoot out Zanzibar's Khamis Mchan Khamis and Issa Othman Aliy kicked out with only Aggrey Morris Ambrose and Ishak Othman Omar scored. Kenya scored though Mike Baraza, Joackins Otieno Atudo, Edwin Lavatsa Jumba and Abdalla Juma Baya.
Harambee Stars Coach James Nandwa said he was happy the boys have managed to win the tough encounter and storm the finals. " I'm happey the boys have managed to win the tough encounter and qualify for the finals. He said: " We are now prepared for whichever side that qualifies for the finals whether Uganda or Tanzania,."
Zanzibar Coach Salum Nassor said he was disappointed with his boys who surrended their lead twice to Kenya, " My boys led the the game but threw it away to Kenya.
He said he is resigning his position as coach because he has failed to win the regional soccer tournament. " I have resigned my position as coach because I have failed to clinch the regional title," he said.
Harambe Stars have clinched Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup four times, in 1975, 1982, 1982, 1983 and 2002.
Kenya started their campaign losing 0 - 1 to Uganda, defeated South Sudan 2 - 0 trounced Ethiopia 3 - 1 before beating Malawi 1 - 0 in the quarter finals. Zanzibar started their campaign drawing 0 - 0 against Eritrea, defeated Rwanda 2 - 1, lost 0 - 2 to Malawi before edging out Burundi 6 - 5 on penalty shoot out.
Cecafa third place playoff and Finals are slated for Saturday December 8 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm respectively. The tournament attracted Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Malawi as guest team.
KENYA - 2 (4) ZANZIBAR - 2 (2)
UGANDA (3) TANZANIA (00)