Sunday, August 1
*Young Africans (Tanzania) 1-1 Bullets (Malawi)
Monday, August 2
*Express (Uganda) Vs Atlabara (South Sudan), 4pm
*Messager Ngozi (Burundi) Vs KMKM (Zanzibar), 6:30pm
*KCCA FC (Uganda) Vs Azam FC (Tanzania), 9pm
Uganda Premier League champions Express FC will start their CECAFA Kagame Cup campaign with a tricky tie against South Sudan’s Atlabara FC on Monday in a Group A match at the Azam Complex in Tanzania.
The top two clubs in each of the two four-team groups will reach the semifinals.
The Red Eagles make a return to the competition for the first time since 2013 in a competition held in Sudan.
Then, coached by Sam Ssimbwa, they lost 2-0 to APR (Rwanda) in the quarterfinal after topping Group B that had Rayon Sports (Rwanda), AS Sport (Djibouti) and Guests Elect Sport from Chad.
Much has happened since then for a club that has been facing a downward spiral and survived relegation from Uganda Premier League on the league’s last day.
A vibrant administration that was ushered in by Chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka has seen the Sleeping Giants awakened, a testimony of their League triumph last season.
Atlabara on the other hand are rising from the ruins of the war torn South Sudan, the youngest nation on the continent.
They will be inspired by a couple of things, starting with their U23 side’s impressive performance at the concluded CECAFA U23 tournament where they finished third in Ethiopia.
The country as a whole is slowly closing the gap and that senior national team win against Uganda Cranes in 2021 AFCON qualifiers is a big manifest where Atlabara will draw confidence to cause an upset.
Full house at Express FC camp
Express FC Coach Wasswa Bbosa has full squad at his disposal after the pair of skipper Enock Walusimbi and Goalie Denis Otim joined Camp in Dar-es-salaam.
Walusimbi and Otim are fresh from national duty with the Kobs at the U-23 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
It takes the Red Eagles playing staff to 21 players ahead of the side’s group A opener against South Sudan’s Atlanta FC on Monday.
Walusimbi is adamant that the Red Eagles have the impetus to lift the trophy.
“I am so happy to have joined Camp,” Walusimbi said as quoted by the club’s official website.
The rest of the players are in good shape and came here to compete so that we take the trophy back home,” the skipper added.
New signings Joel Mutakubwa and Joseph Akandwanaho are favorites to make debuts while Wasswa Bbosa will welcome back forward George Senkaaba from a long term lay off.
The reigning league Champions are in Group A alongside Big Bullets( Malawi), Tanzania’s Yang Africans and South Sudan’s Atlanta FC.
Uganda will be represented by defending Champions KCCA FC and Express FC.
Express FC probable Lineup – Joel Mutakubwa, Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Issa Lumu, Murushid Juuko, Abel Eturude, Mahad Yaya, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Martin Kizza, Joseph Akandwanaho, Eric Kambale
Atlabara FC will be carrying South Sudan’s flag at the regional competition for a fourth time.
They are the country’s giants having won the league a record three times – 2013, 2015 and 2019.
They are in CECAFA Kagame Cup after they beat Salam Kuajok 2-0 to lift the 2021 South Sudan Cup, then Malish Mandela scored both goals.
It has been a perfect year for the side who also won the Juba Local Football Cup in February thanks to a 3-1 win over Gudele at Buluk training centre.
The team will also take part in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Their best achievement in CECAFA Kagame Cup was a place in the quarterfinal in 2014 in Kigali when they were knocked out by KCCA FC 3-1 thanks to goals from Brian Majwega, Brian Umony and Hakim Ssenkumba.
In 2019, the finished bottom of Group A with just a point after opening with a 1-1 draw with Kinondoni FC (Tanzania). They lost 2-0 to Rayon Sports (Rwanda) and 6-1 to TP Mazembe (DR Congo).
In preparation for the tournament, they beat Munuki 2-1 in a friendly game.
They left for Juba on Saturday 31st July 2021 ahead of their CECAFA Kagame Cup 2021 opener on Monday.
The club is in Dar with new coaching team after the departure of former Vipers coach Michael Nam Ouma.
Mohamed Adam is the new head coach and will be assisted by their former defender Monydeng who were appointed last week.
How To Watch
- The games are live on Azam TV. You can also follow our pages for live updates.