Express FC might just be searching to better the 1994 and 1995 milestones in the CECAFA Regional Clubs tournament that saw them convincingly progress and crown both tournaments as runners-up.
A period of twenty six years seems too long and the tournament has since adopted a new name (CECAFA Kagame Cup) but the belief is certainly back within the Red Eagles camp as they quest to reminisce about the great days.
Negotiating passage to the semi-finals however, hasn’t come easy for them given a tough Group A that had the South Sudanese side Atlabara FC (who they beat 1-0), Malawian side Big Bullets FC (who gave them a match to remember, the game eventually ending (1-1)) and Tanzanian Young Africans.
With respect to all other opponents, Young Africans were viewed to be the strongest side in the group given their reputation on the continent but to everyone’s surprise, Express FC literally took them to the cleaners with a 3-1 scoreline.
Below is how Wasswa Bbosa’s side faired in terms of ratings:
GK: Joel Mutakubwa (6)
The custodian didn’t have much to do in the first half as his side dominated the proceedings. He was however called to action in the second half on a couple of occasions before being caught out of position by a scorcher that was only seen to be a consolation for the opponent.
RB: Enock Walusimbi (5)
He led by example as the skipper until he walked off the pitch with an injury. The right-back offered a lot defensively while on pitch to help nullify the opposition attack.
CB: Issa Lumu (7)
He easily comes off as the unsung hero in the defensive setup of the team. The defensive rock of the Red Eagles did all the handy work and complemented his partner to perfection.
CB: Murushid Juuko (7)
His bromance with Lumu isn’t spoken about enough and was on show again against Young Africans. Jjuuko is a captain without an armband and he not only bullied the opposition offensive players but also provided a basis for the teams attacks.
LB: Arthur Kiggundu (6)
He had a decent game defensively but was also seen to make forward runs more often than not. Arthur covered a lot of ground on the pitch.
DM: Mahad Yaya Kakooza (8)
He is an anchorman by trade and plays the central defensive midfield position to perfection. It’s therefore needless to mention that he was the kingpin yet again. Mahad was not only instrumental in breaking up opposition play but also covered the most ground on the pitch.
CM: John Bwamukama (7)
He had good interplay with Yaya in midfield and was quite attentive to the opposition attacks. Johnny further helped free-up the players infront of him.
AM: Muzamiru Mutyaba (8)
He might end up being Express FC’s player of the tournament with this resurgence. Mutyaba did put in a shift yet again with a beautiful goal but his offensive play was something to write home about.
RM: Godfrey Lwesibawa (9)
The game’s Man-of-the-Match by a country mile. His beautiful goal and assist will be spoken about a lot but what won’t be mentioned is his ability to track back and help out with defense.
Lwesibawa is the perfect player who thrives in the gaffer’s philosophy.
LM: Martin Kizza (7)
His hold-up play was yet again on point against Young Africans therefore no surprise that he assisted a goal. Kizza gives the Red Eagles a lot of offensive balance when in a match.
FW: Eric Kambale (8)
Kambale had an uncharacteristic first half where he was a bit lost in the game but still managed an assist and was awake in the 53rd minute to grant Express FC their third goal of the game.
The Red Eagles look impressive so far in the tournament and are good value for the semi-final spot.