Express FC have won their first group A game against Atlabara FC in the CECAFA Kagame Cup tournament in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with a man less.
New signing goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa marked his debut well, walking straight into Wasswa Bbosa’s starting eleven to keep a clean sheet as Express emerged 1-0 winners over Atlabara.
Abel Etrude, who was later sent off, was also thrown into the starting Xi for the Red Eagles after a long time away through injury, as Bbosa synonymously assembled a side with last season’s title-winning starters.
The Red Eagles got ahead of their South Sudanese opponents within the first five minutes of the game played at the Azam Complex, Chamazi, on Monday evening.
Erick Kambale was fouled by Peter Sunday Makoy and Zanzibari referee Mfaume Ally did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Express’ top marksman Kambale got up from the ground and calmly slotted home from twelve yards to give his side the groove.
The Red Eagles saw more possession and tried to use all the spaces on the offence, piled pressure on the opponents, but the score remained intact at halftime.
Express came back from the break playing with clear intentions of killing off the game early to ensure maximum points with a second goal.
Charles Musiige, in the 53rd minute, came off for Ivan Mayanja. At the hour mark, Godfrey Lwesibawa was booked for a foul on Atlabara’s centre back Mutawakil Yom, and that marked his last bit of action in the game as he paved way for debutant Joseph Akandwanaho.
Towards the 70th minute, Express went a man down after their vice-captain Etrude fouled Ernadez Tera as they both vied for the ball in the air.
Three minutes after the incident, Bbosa replaced winger Martin Kizza with John Byamukama.
After going a man down, the Red Eagles had all to do to secure they collect maximum points, defending resolutely with 10-men to secure a precious win in the first match, Bbosa’s exact plan.
Express return to action on Wednesday, August 4, against Nyasa Big Bullets FC, before facing off with Young Africans FC in the final group game on Saturday.
The best two teams from the group will join two other teams from group B to go straight to the semi-finals.
How both teams lined up:
Express starting XI: Joel Mutakubwa, Enoch Walusimbi (C), Arthur Kiggundu, Murushid Juuko, Issa Lumu, Abel Etrude, Mahad Kakooza, Charles Musiige, Martin Kizza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Erick Kambale
Subs: Dennis Otim, Chrispus Kusiima, Denis Mubuya, John Byamukama, Daniel Shabene, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Ivan Mayanja, George Senkaaba, Faisal Ssekyanzi
Atlabara starting XI: Lucas Lucheri, Yom Mutawakul, Stephen Mamur, Lam Chanf, Jimmy Omer, Peter Makon, Jimmy Tombe, Simon Obligi, Joseph Muyang, Justin John, Fernandez Terra
Subs: Khon Mawen, Sunday Morris, Emmanuel James