By Edwin Kyle Kule
Kooki has been knocked out the 2020 Airtel Masaza Cup group stages after they were held to a 1-1 draw with Bugerere in their final Masengere group game on Monday afternoon.
Geofrey Ganganga put Bugerere in the lead, but second-half substitute Jacobs Othieno drew Kooki level, and they were left to rue their missed opportunity after Anthony Ssekidde missed a late penalty.
The 2006 Masaza Cup winners were without two players, experienced defender Gordon Wante who carried an injury and goalkeeper Eria Ssentongo who was ruled out due to malaria.
But it is Bugerere who showed intent early on, with pacey winger Derrick walugembe, Umar Luswabi and Tonny Kiberu testing Kooki goalkeeper Isaac Kwizera Onyango who was equal to the task.
Kooki’s best chance in the first half came in the 38th minute when Anthony Ssekidde picked up Geoffrey Okello inside the penalty area, but the latter failed to beat the keeper from close range.
Ganganga scored the game’s first goal in the 57th, planting his header into the bottom right corner from Walugembe’s corner kick.
However, Othieno who was introduced in the 73rd minute of the game pulled Kooki level as he headed David Oketcho’s free kick beyond the outstretched glove of Arafat Otim at the far post.
The stalemate means Mawokota is the only team confirmed to progress to the knockout stages from the Masengere group with the team to be confirmed after the match between Mawokota and Kyadondo.
Bugerere hold the upper hand currently as they sit second on four points, and will hope Kyadondo who are third on three points fail to pick up maximum points as even a draw guarantees progress for Bugerere.
How they lined up
Kooki XI: Isaac Kwizera Onyango, David Okecho, Stephen Matovu, Latif Biira, David Kanonya, Benjamin Ssemango, Solomon Waiswa, Shamir Kimwero, Geofrey Okello, Anyhony Ssekidde Masikirano
Subs: Jacobs Othieno, Sande Matovu
Bugerere XI: Arafat Otim, Jafari Kaziro, Fredrick Ngalo, Sharif Lubega, Swaibu Ndugwa, Geofrey Gaganga, Juma Kasozi, Saidi Mayanja, Derrick Walugembe, Tonny Kiberu, Umar Luswabi
Subs: Faizal Ndugwa, Erisa Mayinja, Wycliff Luseda