Anything besides a loss would have been enough for Uganda to progress to the next stage of the 2015 Caf under-23 qualifiers however the Kobs went ahead to win 2-0. Egypt now waits for them for a berth to Senegal, writes JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.
There was never any uncertainty about the destiny of tie from the minute John Ssemazzi and Farouq Miya scored two brisk goals at the hour mark. Since Rwanda is done and dusted, attention for the Kobs switches to Egypt as the Kobs expect to reach the Caf Under-23 finals for the first time. The tournament will additionally double as the 2016 Olympic Games qualifier.
The Kobs may be underdogs against Egypt however they will go into the two-legged tie with their confidence sky-high. The first leg will be played in Egypt on the weekend of July 17-19, before Uganda hosts the return leg a fortnight later at Nakivubo.
Having failed to qualify for the All Africa Games at the first hurdle to Mozambique in February, Coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic was a disappointed man about his team’s application.
Be that as it may, against Rwanda, his spirits have been lifted. “I am truly delighted by how my players applied themselves over the two legs,” he said after the game. “They are a talented bunch and followed my strategic technique to the letter. I am certain the future is bright for us and we will be ready for Egypt.”
Micho includes that these being young players, there were some lapses in concentration. Also, at times, they were superfluously rushing a lot. The Kobs began the game in a fired-up mode – wanting to kill it off quickly.
However, the Rwandans weathered the storm and kept Uganda under control for the rest of the first half, which was generally a 50-50 affair. This made Rwanda’s second-half collapse uncharacteristic.
Rwandan captain Emery Bayisenge summed up the situation when he told The Observer: “we fail to focus and we paid the price.”
However, his Coach Vincent Mashami blamed their exit on the failure to convert the few chances they got before in the game. Ibrahim Mugisha, the goalkeeping coach of Rwanda, and a former Ugandan international argued that Uganda’s sheer grit and determination were the difference between the two teams.