Rwanda 0-0 Uganda
(Stade Reunification, Doula)
The Uganda Cranes were held to a goalless draw by Rwanda in their opening match at the 2020 CHAN tournament.
The two sides could not find a way past the other in a reasonably dull encounter played at the Stade Reunification in Doula, Cameroon.
Rwanda came closest to scoring as they hit the frame work twice in the first half.
The draw leaves either side on a single point collected from one game.
POOR CRANES FAIL FIRST TEST
Uganda have enjoyed success against CECAFA opposition in the recent past and were optimistic going into the game on Monday.
Having failed to progress past the group stage in all of their first four appearances at the finals, it is clear what their target is, at Cameroon 2021.
For most of Monday’s contest, they played second best as Rwanda looked more comfortable in possession.
The Cranes created few goal scoring opportunities especially in the opening half.
Joackiam Ojera came close but headed wide a Karim Watambala free kick inside the opening minute.
Having replaced the injured Milton Karisa on 14 minutes, current Uganda Premier League top scorer Brian Aheebwa clearly gave the Cranes a new dimension upfront and saw an effort deflected just-wide within minutes of coming on.
With the team taking the entire first 45 minutes to get into the game, Jonathan McKinstry made two substitutions at the start of the second half as Tonny Mawejje and Ben Ocen replaced Bright Anukani and in-effective Viane Ssekajugo.
The changes looked to have added something to the team as Uganda looked more comfortable in the second period but were creating only half chances.
Ojera failed to capitalize on Olivier Kwizera’s mistake as the custodian failed to collect a routine corner before Mawejje raced his way into the area only to see his goal-bound shot charged down.
AMAVUBI STARS ONCE AGAIN FRUSTRATE UGANDA
Rwanda handed Uganda arguably their most hurting loss in recent history as they beat the Cranes 1-0 at Namboole in 2003 to deny them a slot at AFCON 04.
For huge spells in the game, the Amavubi stars looked on course to another victory over their neighbours.
Captain Jacques Tuyisenge was at the centre of most-good for Rwanda and must feel frustrated for not getting his name onto the score-sheet.
The lanky forward pounced onto a lose ball, just outside the area but shot straight at Lukwago.
He then headed wide a Savio Nishut corner before glancing a Bertrand Iradukunda cross onto the right-hand post.
With Rwanda in the ascendancy, Muhadjiri Hakizimana danced his way past two Ugandan players before unleashing a fierce drive that rattled the cross bar.
The result means both sides are now joint second on the group C log with one point apiece, two adrift of leaders Morocco who beat Togo 1-0 in the early kickoff.
In their next fixtures, Uganda faces Togo on Friday, the same day Rwanda entertains defending Champions Morocco.
On Tuesday, January 19, Zambia takes on Tanzania while Guinea locks horns with Namibia.
How both teams started
Charles Lukwago, Paul Willa, Mustafa Mujuzi, Patrick Mbowa, Aziz Kayondo, Shafik Kagimu, Joakim Ojera, Bright Anukani, Vianney Ssekajiggo, Karim Watambala, Milton Kalisa.
Olivier Kwizera (GK), Fitina Omborenga, Ange Mutsinzi, Thierry Manzi, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Olivier Niyonzima, Rashid Kalisa, Bertrand Iradukunda, Muhadjiri Hakizimana, Dominique Savio Nshuti, Jacques Tuyisenge (C)