Uganda’s national team, the cranes came out on top in their opening match at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup against bitter rivals Kenya on Saturday, winning 1–0 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Namboole.
Geoffrey Kizito scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute, and afterwards Cranes coach Bobby Williamson admitted it was not an easy outing for his charges.
Williamson said it was always great to beat regional rivals Kenya, especially in Kampala, but he maintained there were no serious thoughts of revenge driving his players on following the barren draw in 2011 that cost the Cranes a place in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
“We played well and it is a big motivation that we managed to beat Kenya here in Kampala at Nomboole. It was a tough match just like we had anticipated but it is good that we got the win in the end,” Williamson said.
“The draw last year is still in our minds but there is nothing like revenge. Nothing will ever atone for the disappointment and the pain we suffered then and also missing the tournament.”
The cranes are now top of Group A with three points alongside Ethiopia who beat South Sudan earlier on. The hosts play Ethiopia in their second match of the competition on Tuesday at the same venue.
The national team were donning jerseys with their names inscribed courtesy of the Uganda Cranes Initiative.