Africa Soccer CECAFA : Express diffuse Nyasa Big Bullets to win Kagame Cup

Uganda Premier League champions Express won the 2021 Cecafa Kagame Cup after diffusing Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, on Saturday evening.

Martin Kizza scored the only goal of the final in the 22nd minute for the Ugandans to beat the guests from Malawi.

Eric Kambale and Muzamir Mutyaba exchanged passes on the left wing before releasing Kizza to sneak the ball past goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda who had left his line while trying to narrow the angle only to expose his near post.

Bullets had some chances to level matters, including through Nigerian striker Babatunde but his effort was ruled offside.

Bullets stand-in coach Peter Mponda gambled in his fielding, leaving on the bench first-choice goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe and leading scorer Chiukepo Msowoya while preferring Chiyenda and Bright Munthali.

Such a gamble backfired in the end.

Before the game, history beckoned Bullets to better the record of fellow Malawian team Admarc Tigers who also reached the final in 1993 but in the end, they fell short against the Ugandans.

Bullets reached the final after beating Azam FC 4-2 on post-match penalties in the semifinal which had ended 2-2 in regulation time whereas Express saw off KMKM from Zanzibar 2-1.

Express received a trophy and prize money of US$30,000 for winning the cup which Rwanda president Paul Kagame sponsors partly.

In a third-place play-off, KMKM stunned 10-man Azam FC at the same venue in an early kick-off.

The tournament started on August 1 with eight teams split into two group of four each.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe and Secretary General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba were among the crowd that witnessed the final.

Express:  Mutakubwa, Walusimbi, Kiggundu, Juuko, Lumu, Byamukama, Kakooza, Mutyaba, Kizza, Kambale, Senkaaba

Bullets:  Rabson Chiyenda, Nixon Nyasulu, Yamikani Fodya, Sankhani Mkandawire, Precious Phiri, Chimwemwe Idana, Chimango Kaira, McFarlen Mgwira, Babatunde Adepoju, Bright Munthali

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