Doula, Cameroon | URN | Uganda Cranes kick-started their Total African Nations Championship [CHAN] campaign with a goalless draw against arch-rivals Rwanda on Monday 18th, January 2021 night.
Paul Mbowa came close to giving Uganda Cranes the lead after one minute at the Reunification Stadium in Doula, but his free kick missed the target by inches in the first minute.
But later the experienced Rwanda skipper Jacques Tuyisenge also made his impact felt in the 7th minute with a well struck shot that was saved by Uganda’s goalkeeper Charles Lukwago.
The Cranes tried to push forward before their attacking midfielder Milton Karisa was stretched off injured after only 11 minutes of play. He was replaced by KCCA FC striker Brian Aheebwa who also had his first attempt after 23 minutes.
It was Muhadjiri Hakizimana who dribbled past three Ugandan defenders and was unlucky his shot hit the woodwork after 30 minutes the teams returned charged and tried to push forward, but failed to get the goals.
Joackim Ojera who picked a booking in the first half came close to giving Uganda the lead after 61 minutes, but he failed to tap in from close range. Rwanda also had their chances, but did not take them.
The title holders Morocco who beat Togo 1-0 in the earlier Group C match now top the group, while Rwanda and Rwanda are joint second. Uganda Cranes will next face Togo on January 22nd before completing the group phase with a game against Morocco on January 26th.
The CHAN tournament meant for local based players featuring local home League started with hosts Cameroon defeating Zimbabwe 1-0 in the opening match played in Yaounde.
Mali also stopped Burkina Faso 1-0 before Libya and Niger settled for a goalless draw on Sunday 17th. Two time CHAN winners DR Congo also got off to a good start on Sunday beating Congo Brazzaville 1-0.
Action moves to the town of Limbe on Tuesday 19th with former Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic leading Zambia against Tanzania in the first Group D game, before Guinea takes on Namibia.