24 Mar, 18:00
Harambee Stars and Uganda Cranes faced off in the return leg of their friendly encounter in a match that ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Despite the match being played away from the city on a Thursday, there was an impressive turn out on supporters who had Kenyatta Stadium almost filled up.
Much appreciation goes to Machakos County as the playing surface was in somewhats great condition with all stands having roofs which neutralized the hot rays from the sun. A word of caution though, next time when the match ends, open the gates early. A number of people got pick-pocketed trying to squeeze out through the only tiny exit gate that was open.
Benjamin Ochan (GK), 5: Was not called upon very much, mostly due to Harambee stars profligacy. Made an excellent block when one on one with Olunga in the first half, storming out of his line in a nick of time and getting injured for his trouble.
Nicholas Wadada, 5: Was pegged back by Samuel Onyango for much of the first half, but give as much as he got.
Godfrey Walusimbi, 6: After being involved in running battles with Noah Wafula for much of the first half, he greatly improved in the first half. With a backtracking Kenya defence he made forays up fuelled and showcased his range of skills.
Murushid Juuko, 5: Had a decent game despite the barrage of attacks from Harambee stars. WA relieved to see Olunga hauled off and contributed to Uganda’s build up play that was starting from the back.
Timothy Awany,5: Fought diligently to keep Uganda in the match from the center back position. Played with no fuss and seemed comfortable to cover for Walusimbi whenever the left-back overlapped.
Habib Kavuma, 4: Had a torrid time trying to contain Olunga as he seeked to provided cover for the defence. Had to be sacrificed at half time as coach Micho made tactical changes
Hassan Wasswa, 6: Most Kenya fans confused him for the similarly dreadlocked Geoffrey Baba Kizito who once played for Gor Mahia. The burly midfielder tried imposing himself on the game through sheer physicality but got his match in Kenya’s own giant Teddy Akumu. Wasswa was later slotted to centre back as Uganda reorganised themselves in the second half.
Muzamir Mutyaba, 5: Was the creative force in midfield though was often bullied off the ball on many an occasion. Still was willing to push his team forward and was involved in some great one twos.
Emma Okwi, 4: The much travelled Okwi had a match to forget as he was expected to be the focal point of Uganda’s attacks. Tucked away at the right flank he was involved in endless wrangles with Kenya’s left back, Abud Omar. Had a few moments though to show his quality as occasionally he showed his close ball control.
Shafik Batambuzze, 4: Got Kenyans concerned when he stood behind the ball after Uganda won a free-kick at the edge of the penalty area. Memories of his brilliant goal from a free kick for his club haunted the supporters, but an over-elaborate set-up wasted the opportunity. His wicked left foot will always be a worry but his threat was nullified by a physical Kenyan defence. Was later substituted for the goal scorer.