Ethiopia and Uganda made winning starts as the 2012 Cecafa
Defending champions Uganda Cranes and Ethiopia made winning starts as the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup kicked off on Saturday at Namboole Stadium on the outskirts of the capital Kampala.
In an earlier game Ethiopia who will represent the region in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations won the first game 1-0 against new comers South Sudan with striker Yonathan Kebede who features for Electricity FC back home netting the sole goal in the 60th minute.
Seyoum Kabede, the Ethiopian coach said although they had won the match, his players have to improve and convert their chances.
“It is good to win the opening match in such a tournament, but we need to improve,” added Kabede who is the assistant coach for the team that will travel for the nations Cup next year.
The South Sudan tactician Zoran Dorjdevic said although his team was featuring in the tournament for the first time, they had put up a good show.
“We must try to get a win against Kenya in our next game,” he told Xinhua in an interview after the game.
In the second game Uganda beat arch rivals by a similar 1-0 score. A 74th minute header by Vietnam based Geoffrey Kizito was enough to give the hosts the win.
The Cranes goal came minutes after their goalkeeper had been rushed in an ambulance.
Kenya Coach James Nandwa said although his boys played a good game but failed to get the back of the net, they will have to win the next game against South Sudan next week to have chances of getting to the knock out phase.
“We did not play badly and the boys gave their best, but it was not our day,” said Nandwa.
Ugandan coach Bobby Williamson told Xinhua that he was happy with victory.
The two matches were watched by the President of the Confederation of Africa Football, Issa Hayatou, Uganda Sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi, Kenya FA President Sam Nyamweya and many other football officials from the region.
Action in the tournament which brings together 12 nations including guests Malawi continues on Sunday with two matches on card. Burundi will face Somalia, while Tanzania take on Sudan.