CHAN 2018 QUALIFIERS: How the Cranes rated against the Amavubi stars of Rwanda

From left to right: Milton Karisa, Moses Waiswa,  Paul Musamali,  Derrick Nsibambi, Savio Kabugo, Shafiq Kagimu, Isaac Muleme, Nicholas Wadada, Muzamir Mutyaba,Ismael Watenga and Bernard Muwanga. (Photo by Ronnie Lusulire) 

By: Danito Nsubuga 

In a match that was billed as tight close contest prior to kick off, the Cranes managed to give a good account of them selves against their counterparts of Rwanda with better movement on the ball, control and direction. Uganda managed to exploit every chance they managed to win against the Amavubi stars of Rwanda and thus, they carry a 3-0 lead into the 2nd leg to be played in Kigali next weekend. Here is how they rated.

Ismael Watenga.
The first choice goalkeeper showed why he has been favoured ahead of the more experienced Benjamin Ochan in the CHAN qualifiers. Despite long spells without being involved in action, he always reacted excellently to surprise attacks due to his good awareness, his height helped a lot during the set pieces and corner kicks. He did well not to have conceded. Booked. 6.0

Nicholas Wadada
The vice captain produced some of the cranes’ best wing play all day with his surging runs, he crossed more balls in the area than any one else in the cranes team. Priceless. 7.5

Isaac Muleme

Arguably the fittest player on the cranes team, like Wadada Muleme covered more ground than anyone else, he was very much involved in the game, made a few interventions and he was always willing to throw his body on the line for the team. He struggled with the aerial balls. 7.5

Paul Musamali.
The only change from Micho’s last line up against South Sudan, Musamali produced a decent and disciplined display, he was always calm on the ball and he covered well for Kabugo when he drifted forward. His physicality and aerial prowess was very vital against a very physical Amavubi side. 6.5

Savio Kabugo

One of the few survivors of the team that played against Rwanda in February 2013 in Namboole, his experience helped a lot in defense organisation but he had a few lapses in concentration. His mistake almost cost the cranes of their clean sheet. He must have been affected by the lack of action due to the closure of the league. Booked. 6.0

Bernard Muwanga
The captain took long to grow into the game and he was always late into the tackle. As the match moved on he got better with good interceptions against the Rwandese short passes. He was withdrawn after the 1st half to avoid a second bookable offence. 5.0

Milton Karisa

What a game he had. He was full of zeal, power and pace. His tenacity and willingness to chase every ball towards him was a big plus to the Cranes going forward. He was always a thorn in the skin for the Rwandese defenders, he was unlucky not to have capped such a good performance with a goal. 8.5

Moses Waiswa
Clean and tidy but careless in possession. He provided a good linkage between defence and midfield. Covered the ground well and he used the ball prudently with better distribution. But he wasn’t willing to indulge into the physical battles, he needs to bulk up if he is to make that position his own in the national colours. 6.5

Muzamir Mutyaba

He has got a knack of choosing his stage for shining and this was one of those. He was calm enough to slot home the resultant penalty when Derrick Nsibambi was fouled in the area to take the pressure off his teammates, though a bit selfish in the final third of the pitch but hey, who blames a player who was always pivotal in the Cranes’ attacks? He was The Star man of the day and despite of the substitution midway into the 2nd half, he deserves to be our Man of the Match. Goals win matches and he provided exactly that. 9.0

Derrick Nsibambi

The fox in the box, Nsibambi looks to improving day by day with his positional awareness, well timed runs on and off the ball. He always held up the ball well and he brought his teammates into play. He scored a typical poacher’s goal to give Uganda a 3 goal cushion going into the return leg. 8.5

Shafiq Kagimu
An other revelation of the year, Kagimu’s fearlessness helps him not to be phased out by the magnitude of the occasion, he was the Cranes most comfortable player on the ball, he always tried to risk doing special things with the ball, he put the crowd on the edge of their seats with his bags of skill and deft a touch. He will be ashamed of denying the cranes a chance to put the tie beyond reach for Rwanda when he was put through by Karisa and he shot just inches wide. 8.5

Tom Masiko
He came on for the booked Bernard Muwanga, but he looked a bit timid and he failed to improve on Muwanga’s contribution. 5.0

Paul Mucureezi
The star man of the previous match against South Sudan couldn’t find a place in the starting line up, that’s how hard things are to win a place for the national side. He replaced KCCA teammate Muzamir Mutyaba but he didn’t make a big impact though he added more energy going forward when the cranes reverted to counter attacking approach. 6.0

Muhammad Shaban
The Onduparaka striker came on late for Moses Waiswa, his desire to chase the balls was evident but he was thrown into the thick of things when the Cranes were being limited to only clearing the balls for safety. 4.0

Coach Moses Basena

What a way to prove your doubters wrong!! . He picked a forward thinking line up and he gave them the freedom to express themselves. He scored more points when he withdrew his captain who had been booked which was a big sign of shrewdness. His substitutions were also spot on and timely. 8.5

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