BY NATNAEL YEBIO
The CECAFA under-15 tournament currently underway in Asmara, Eritrea is beginning to take shape with the boy’s competition heading into its fourth day of matches. Monday saw Uganda take on Tanzania.
Uganda had won their opening match against Ethiopia on Saturday, a match that witnessed the stark difference in physic between both sets of players.
The match between Uganda and Tanzania had little between both teams. In an equally contested first half, referee Sabri Mohammed of Sudan had to halt play on numerous occasion for fails committed by both teams.
In fact, it was Uganda who broke the deadlock through a free kick the won in the edge of the penalty box which was sweetly struck by Mutyaba Travis. As soon as the ball left his foot Tanzania goalkeeper Miraji Rashid had no chance as the ball ended in the back of the net.
The first half would end with Uganda leading. Second half was as physical as the first with both teams vying to get the upper hand, however, it was Uganda who got the next goal. Mutyaba Travis once again in the thick of things as he magically dribbled past four Tanzania players and a neat one-two with Kyeyune Abasi found him clean through on goal, slotting his shot past the Tanzanian goalkeeper, sealing Uganda’s second win.
The second match of the day between South Sudan and Ethiopia ended 1-1.
Ethiopia looked better in their second match of the competition. What they had lacked is physical strength in their previous match they made up for with their good abilities on the ball and their pace in this game, even threatening the South Sudan goal via Korame Tiamrat.
However, with Ethiopia dominating the ball, South Sudan got the first goal of the game through an indirect free-kick, their lanky midfielder Tet James pouncing on a header past goalkeeper Derese Kidus as the first half ended with South Sudan leading.
In a closely contested second half, Ethiopia continued dominating play with South Sudan opting to sit back and defend their one-goal lead. With time running down, Ethiopia coach Solomon Meka used all his substitutes and went all-out attack.
Ethiopia threw everything at South Sudan short of the kitchen sink. Three minutes from time, Ethiopia’s Negash Abdulfeta was fouled inside the penalty box by Godfrey Nyoma, referee William Oloya duly pointing to the penalty spot.
Ethiopia’s Fentie Fitsum making no mistakes from the spot making it 1-1. Ethiopia played magnificently on the day. South Sudan knowing they couldn’t go toe-to-toe against their counterparts were at times physical and chose to go long for most of the game.
After the game, Ethiopia’s coach Solomon Meka said he was proud of the way his team played.
Match Day #5 of the tournament will see group leaders on goal difference Kenya take on surprise packages of the tournament Burundi while Eritrea will try to record their first win of the competition when they play against Sudan.