Sports

KCCA still have work to do

It’s KCCA’s moment to toast. Beating a team of El Merreikh’s stature to a place at the next stage of CAF Champions League is no easy feat. Tony Odur celebrates scoring KCCAs opener in the 7th minute. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo Unlike Uganda’s other regular representatives URA, who have always fallen out at the first stage, KCCA moved a step further by beating the Sudanese giants 3-2 on aggregate. George Nsimbe’s side faces Nkana Red Devils next at the next stage. The Zambian side beat Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows 5-2 to book a date with KCCA. Celebrations aside, if KCCA is to also go over the next hurdle, then it will have to work doubly hard. This is at least going by the Lugogo side’s performance in Saturday’s return leg at Namboole. True, El Merreikh were aided by Burundian referee Thierry Nkurunziza, but KCCA will also have to get some basics right if they are to become Uganda’s first team to reach the lucrative group stages. KCCA’s 2-1 loss at home was the least everyone expected from a team that had pulled off a 2-0 away win the previous week. Good start The home side started off well with a passing game, and all signs were that they were on course to building on their Khartoum win. The attacks indeed paid off with Tony Odur getting an early goal. But from that point the hosts started losing grip. Rather than go into more attacks, they fell back piling pressure on themselves. In the process they failed to exploit voids in the opponents’ defence. Low fitness levels KCCA’s fitness levels were also lacking. As early as the first half attacking midfielders Herman Wasswa and William Wadri were already panting.

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Azam, KMKM out of CAF battles

Mainland envoys Azam FC crashed out of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup after conceding a 2-0 defeat away to Ferroviario da Beira in their second leg of the preliminary round in Beira, Mozambique on Sunday. Azam FC A goal apiece in either half by Ferroviario’s deadly striker Mario Sinamunda was enough to see off Azam as the hosts marched on to the first round of the continental second tier with a 2-1 aggregate win. Ferroviario will play Zambian side, Zesco in the first round tie to be played between March 1 and 2, this year, while Azam return home with their focus now solely on domestic campaign. Azam coach Joseph Omog said before the match his team was determined to go through after pulling a slender 1-0 lead in the first tie played a week ago in Dar es Salaam and the result would be heart-breaking for ice-cream makers. The Cameroonian trainer made just one change to the lineup that started in the first leg, with right full-back David Mwantika replacing Malika Ndeule. Ferroviario da Beira on their side made two changes from last week’s encounter. A midfielder duo of Valter Mandava and Alfonso Mashava gave way to Egidio Coutinho and Henry Antony. It was the hosts who were fast out of the blocks as they surged ahead barely six minutes into the game through a Mario Sinamunda effort to make 1-1 on aggregate. With the game staged on a rain-soaked pitch following heavy rain that pounded the city ahead of the game, both sides expectedly struggled to put together a string of passes and failed to create meaningful chances. However, the Mozambicans cashed in on the home ground advantage and the backing of the partisan crowd to take a 1-0 lead at the breather. On resumption, Sinamunda turned the tie in favour of Ferroviario, notching the crucial second goal to make it 2-0 and Azam could not bounce back. Teams: Azam: Mwadini Ali, David Mwantika, Erasto Nyoni, Aggrey Morris, Said Morad, Michael Bolou, Salum Abubakar, Himid Mao, Khamis Mcha, Brian Umony, Kipre Tchetche. Ferroviario: Willaph Manyatera, Zefanias Matsinhe, Emidio Matsinhe, Abrao Cufa, Edson Morais, Reinildo Mandava, Egidio Coutinho na Henry Antony, Manuel Fernandes, Mario Sinamunda, Manuel Correia. Meanwhile, MWAJUMA JUMA reports from Zanzibar that the Isles’ representatives KMKM bid the CAF Champions League farewell yesterday despite cruising to a 2-0 victory over visiting Dedebit from Ethiopia in a preliminary round, returnleg match at the Amaan Stadium. KMKM were eliminated 3-2 on aggregate following a 3-0 thrashing in Addis Ababa in the first leg last week. The home side went ahead in the third minute through Maulid Ibrahim Kapenta’s 25-metre blockbuster. They sealed their score in the 55th minute through Mudrik Muhibu who connected home Haji Simba’s cross

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Azam, KMKM out of CAF battles

Mainland envoys Azam FC crashed out of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup after conceding a 2-0 defeat away to Ferroviario da Beira in their second leg of the preliminary round in Beira, Mozambique on Sunday. Azam FC A goal apiece in either half by Ferroviario’s deadly striker Mario Sinamunda was enough to see off Azam as the hosts marched on to the first round of the continental second tier with a 2-1 aggregate win. Ferroviario will play Zambian side, Zesco in the first round tie to be played between March 1 and 2, this year, while Azam return home with their focus now solely on domestic campaign. Azam coach Joseph Omog said before the match his team was determined to go through after pulling a slender 1-0 lead in the first tie played a week ago in Dar es Salaam and the result would be heart-breaking for ice-cream makers. The Cameroonian trainer made just one change to the lineup that started in the first leg, with right full-back David Mwantika replacing Malika Ndeule. Ferroviario da Beira on their side made two changes from last week’s encounter. A midfielder duo of Valter Mandava and Alfonso Mashava gave way to Egidio Coutinho and Henry Antony. It was the hosts who were fast out of the blocks as they surged ahead barely six minutes into the game through a Mario Sinamunda effort to make 1-1 on aggregate. With the game staged on a rain-soaked pitch following heavy rain that pounded the city ahead of the game, both sides expectedly struggled to put together a string of passes and failed to create meaningful chances. However, the Mozambicans cashed in on the home ground advantage and the backing of the partisan crowd to take a 1-0 lead at the breather. On resumption, Sinamunda turned the tie in favour of Ferroviario, notching the crucial second goal to make it 2-0 and Azam could not bounce back. Teams: Azam: Mwadini Ali, David Mwantika, Erasto Nyoni, Aggrey Morris, Said Morad, Michael Bolou, Salum Abubakar, Himid Mao, Khamis Mcha, Brian Umony, Kipre Tchetche. Ferroviario: Willaph Manyatera, Zefanias Matsinhe, Emidio Matsinhe, Abrao Cufa, Edson Morais, Reinildo Mandava, Egidio Coutinho na Henry Antony, Manuel Fernandes, Mario Sinamunda, Manuel Correia. Meanwhile, MWAJUMA JUMA reports from Zanzibar that the Isles’ representatives KMKM bid the CAF Champions League farewell yesterday despite cruising to a 2-0 victory over visiting Dedebit from Ethiopia in a preliminary round, returnleg match at the Amaan Stadium. KMKM were eliminated 3-2 on aggregate following a 3-0 thrashing in Addis Ababa in the first leg last week. The home side went ahead in the third minute through Maulid Ibrahim Kapenta’s 25-metre blockbuster. They sealed their score in the 55th minute through Mudrik Muhibu who connected home Haji Simba’s cross

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Vodacom Premier League a two-horse race again

Vodacom Premier League round of 18 shed the light on the league’s title chase as it became clear that the race will again involve current leaders Azam FC and defending champions Young Africans. The two top sides, out of domestic action for the second consecutive weekend due to their participation in the CAF club competitions, were handed big advantage after closest challengers Mbeya City and Simba played out a 1-1 draw in a nail-biting clash on Saturday. Mbeya City, who have won many plaudits in their debut season in the face of their stunning form, had a chance to go above Yanga in the league standings and it looked as though they would maintain their outstanding home record when they went front after 13 minutes via Deogratius Julius’s spot-kick. But Zdravko Logarusic’s strugglers pushed on and restored parity on resumption after the league’s top scorer Amisi Tambwe connected home Haroun Chanongo’s well measured cross. The result helped Mbeya City go level on 35 points with second-placed Yanga, albeit after playing two games more, while Simba relinquish in fourth place with 32 points from 18 outings. The draw could not alter the face of the top four as Azam remain in the driver’s seat with 36 points, having played 16 matches, Yanga still occupy the second slot ahead of Mbeya City thanks to their superior goal difference ratio and could open a six-point gap over City if they win their games in hand. It is more likely than ever that the title race will become a two-horse race between table toppers Azam and Yanga, as they are favourites to take maximum points from their two games in hand. Azam, craving for their first ever top flight glory, would be pleased with how things have turned out so far this season, as they hold a one-point advantage in the title race. They will be looking to cement their title credentials when they return to domestic action with a tricky fixture at home to Prisons of Mbeya on Saturday. They know they need to keep their momentum going and maintain the gap with reigning champions Yanga to realize their dream of securing the trophy after almost six seasons in the elite league. Azam’s formidable squad should give them confidence that they can cling on to the top spot and win what promises to be a fascinating title race. Yanga may be a point behind Azam, but for most observers they remain the Premiership title favourites, given their quality and experience in these kinds of battles. Yanga are also expected to resume league business next Saturday when they face unpredictable Ruvu Shooting at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. With the Jangwani Street side riding high after the CAF Champions League preliminary round’s 12-2 aggregate win over Comoro’s Komorozine, expect another victory for Hans Van der Pluijm’s team. There is a thrilling battle at the other end of the table where five teams are fighting against relegation, with only a point separating between 10th-placed Mgambo JKT and bottom side Rhino Rangers. Mgambo JKT, who stunned Simba 1-0 a week ago, put in another spirited performance as they came from behind to force a 1-1 draw away to fellow relegation battlers Rhino Rangers. The draw lifted Mgambo to 14 points, while Rhino Rangers remained at the foot of the table with 13. Both Ashanti United and JKT Oljoro, who conceded a barren draw against JKT Ruvu, face the danger of being relegated to the first division. The weekend games also saw Ruvu Shooting edge out Coastal Union 1-0 in a mid-table clash played on Saturday at the Mabatini Stadium, Pwani. With the win, Ruvu went to fifth position with 23 points after 17 matches as Union was relegated to the seventh spot after managing 22 points. Source Tanzania Daily News

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NBA All-Star Game 2014 MVP: Kyrie Irving earns honors thanks to big 2nd half

The record for points scored by a team in the All-Star Game was 155 — until tonight. Both teams hit that number and the East Conference surpassed it as it pulled off a 163-155 win over West, with both teams combining to scored 318 points, yet another record. Kyrie Irving was named MVP for his part in bringing the East back with 31 points, 14 assists and five rebounds, with 24 points in the second half, which tied another record. Carmelo Anthony was a close runner-up, as he knocked in a record eight 3-pointers on 8-of-13 shooting from outside the arc. On the West side, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant both scored 38 points, totaling the most combined points for two teammates. Durant teamed with Kobe Bryant to make that original record in 2011. Irving missed only three of the 17 shots he attempted, and all of those were from 3-point range, where he was 3 for 6. He was at his best in the second half, hitting 11 of 13 shots and dishing out seven assists. Often refusing to settle for long jumpers unless they came in rhythm, he went hard to the basket and finished, showing the competitive spirit often lacking in All-Star exhibitions. “I feel like that’s what all the fans want to see us do is just compete at the highest level,” Irving said. “I just wanted to give the fans what they wanted.” Eastern Conference coach Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers said Irving’s performance was a reminder that while winning is important, players should be judged by more than just the records of the teams for which they play. The Cavaliers are 20-33 at the All-Star break, 11th in the Eastern Conference. Still, Irving was elected by fans to start for the East alongside perennial All-Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. “The history of the league is to reward the teams with winning records and the best players on those teams” with All-Star selections, Vogel said. “But there’s certain players that stand out beyond that, and Kyrie is definitely one of them.

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She-Wasps sting Harambee starlets

The national football women team, ‘She-Wasps’ snatched a 1-0 win over Kenya in their 2014 African Women’s Championship (AWC) qualifier yesterday at Stade de Kigali to boost their chances. Striker Chadia Uwamahirwe dribbles past Kenya’s Doris Anyango in the first leg of the Africa women championship first round match played at Stade de Kigali yesterday. T. Kisambira. Grace Nyinawumuntu’s charges who were returning to continental football after five years never disappointed as they dominated their Kenyan counterparts at all fronts. The hosts took a lead in the 29th minute through striker Alice Niyoyita who smashed a perfect header off Marie Jeanne Nyirahafashimana’s corner. The score line would have been extended but heroic saves from Kenyan goal keeper Rosemary Aluooh denied Rwanda a chance of registering a hefty score. Sophie Niyomugaba tormented Kenyan defence twice from the left with her crosses to Anne Marie Ibangarye which were never put to good use. Clementine Mukamana exhibited good defensive tactics as she twice halted Kenya’s Wendy Atieno. Skipper Martha Karimi had the best chance from a free kick saved by She-Wasps impressive goalie Judith Ingabire as they dug deep for an equaliser in the second half. Striker Chadia Uwamahirwe missed two clear chances in front of the goal. In the 80th minute, she dribbled past Sylvia Nasike and Doris Anyango only for her shot to be denied by the woodwork. The AS Kigali striker had her brilliant free kick outside the box put off bay by goalie Aluooh as Rwanda relied on counterparts after Kenya packed the midfield in search for a goal. Rwanda head to Kenya in a fortnight for a return leg scheduled to be played at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi. Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire booked a 4-0 first leg win over neighbors Mali in Abidjan on Saturday while southerners Zambia and Zimbabwe also launched their campaigns with narrow wins on Friday. Jeanne Gnago opened the scores for the Les Elephants after four minutes from the spot before Estelle Nahi cemented the lead on 41 minutes. The Ivorians scored the third through Ines Tia Nrehi on 81 minutes before Rebecca Elloh signed off the win four minutes later with the fourth goal. The She-polopolo of Zambia beat Tanzania 2-1 in Lusaka whilst the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe stunned their Botswana hosts 1-0 in Gaborone. In Algiers, Algeria silenced Morocco 2-0 in an-all Maghrebian affair.

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Giancarlo takes Rugende Sprint victory

The reigning national rally champion Davite Giancarlo put on a brilliant performance as he defied odds to win a grueling 120km Sprint de Rugende in Rwamagana over the weekend. National Champion Davite Giancarlo got off to a bright start, winning the opening round of Rwanda National Rally Championship with his Subaru Impreza ‘Umuletti’. Sprint de Rugende was the opening round on the seven-round national rally competition calendar. It trekked from Rweli, Gahengeri, Nzige to Muyumbu and climaxed at Rugende. In a Subaru Impreza N12, Giancarlo traversed the four competitive sections in a total time of one hour, five minutes and one second. The 2013 Mt Gorilla rally champion used the race for rehearsal as he bids to compete in the opening round of the 2014 Rallye Bandama Cote d’Ivoire which has been set for March 14-16. He told Times Sport, “I am happy for the win. It was a trial performance for me and the car [Subaru Impreza]. We have posted good results and the car is in great shape.” “We had a good performance in the sprint and as usual, am looking forward to another triumphant season but I also hope the jubilations can be extended on the continent,” added Giancarlo who was navigated by long time friend Eric Nzamwita. This year, Giancarlo will be gunning to win the African Rally Championship title despite finishing third last year. Claude Kwizera, in a Subaru Impreza N11 staged a superb performance as he finished in second place two minutes and 12 seconds behind Giancarlo.  Burundian Abbas Mohammed finished third after clocking one hour, eleven minutes and 16 seconds, while Ange Cyatangabo in Golf finished fourth, 15 minutes and 30 seconds behind Mohammed. Abandoned race Five cars failed to complete the four competitive sections following mechanical problems. Johhny Murengezi in a Subaru Impreza N4 was the first to bow out with an engine failure after finishing the first competitive section ranked second. He was followed by Mayaka Felekani, Claude Gakwaya, Genesse Semana and Janvier Mutuga after the third competitive section. Drivers will now shift focus to the second round, Rallye de l’Est on March 22. It will be followed by Rallye de Huye ‘Memorial Gakwaya’ on June 7-8, while Rwanda Mountain GorillaRally is slated for July 18-20. Rally Sprint, due on September 1, and Rallye du Nord, on October 18, are the fifth and sixth rounds in the championship, while Rallye des 1000 Collines will wind up the busy schedule. By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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