URA are through to the next preliminary qualification round of the CAF Confederation Cup courtesy of a convincing 3-1 victory over Ethiopian Coffee at the Bahir Dar International Stadium to climax a thrilling first round fixture.
Cromwell Rwothomio, Ashraf Mandela and Shafik Kagimu were all on target for the Tax Collectors as they added to their two home goals to amass a 5-2 aggregate victory and vindicate the skipper’s pre-match confidence.
Going into the Sunday September 19 game however, the Team Manager Sam Timbe notably made a single change from the eleven that started against the same opponent a week ago at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Joackiam Ojera came in for Vianne Ssekajugo who assisted Steven Mukwala twice on his debut-which also doubled as their first leg encounter in the continental competition.
As expected, the Ethiopians gained the most possession in the opening minutes of the game but had no real threats going forward and did not do much to trouble the URA defense.
The game opened up a little more after half an hour when Ojera rounded off an opponent with superb ball control before crossing to Mukwala whose header went rather wide but only by a whisker.
With five minutes to the end of the first stanza, Kagimu stepup Cromwell Rwothomio who slotted the ball home to give URA the lead and a comfortable 3-1 advantage over the opposition.
Right back Ashraf Mandela doubled his side’s lead shortly after the restart, before skipper scored the third in quick succession from the 52nd to the 55th minute.
In the 70th minute, Ethiopian Coffee converted from the spot to pull one back, minutes before Ssekajugo came on to replace Ojera. At this stage, the game seemed already won.
The Taxmen were forced to a double change as Benjamin Nyakoojo and Living Kabon respectively replaced the injured Rwothomio and Kagimu who were both agonizingly stretchered off.
The fascinating climax to the game that saw the home team continue to force the issue was fittingly short-lived and the centre referee blew the final whistle to send the Ugandan side to the next qualification round.
The result implies that the Tax Collectors will lockhorns with an Egyptian outfit Al-Masry in the next round. The ultimate winner over the two-legged affair will make it to the last qualification stage.
How URA lined up against Ethiopian Coffee:
Starting XI: Nafian Alionzi (GK), Ashraf Mandela, Derrick Ndahiro, Najib Fesali, Hudu Mulikyi, Patrick Mbowa, Joackiam Ojera, Shafik Kagimu (C), Said Kyeyune, Steven Mukwala, Cromwell Rwothomio
Subs: James Alitho, Ronald Kigongo, Benjamin Nyakoojo, Faruku Katongole, Ivan Sserubiri, Ivan Sseruyidde, Living Kabon, Viane Ssekajugo and Ibrahim Dada