Cecafa 2018: Kenya face rivals Uganda in opener, hosts Rwanda entertain holders

Kenya versus Uganda
Harambee Starlets to take on Crested Cranes in Cecafa 2018 opener

The 2018 Cecafa Women’s Championship will kick-off just like the last edition in 2016 with Kenya facing Uganda in the opener at the Stade de Kigali at 14h00 local time (15h00 EAT).

This will be the third meeting between the two sides in recent times with Kenya winning all the previous occasions, but Uganda closing in on their bitter rivals in recent times.

In August 2016, Kenya picked a convincing 4-0 win against Crested Cranes in a friendly match played at Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

They went on to trounce Uganda by the same margin a month later in the 2016 Cecafa Women’s Championship opener.

It was a slightly different tale when the duo met yet again in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers in April, as Kenya could only manage a 1-0 aggregate win.

Both sides will be seeking their maiden title with Kenya hoping to better their runners-up finish in 2016 and Uganda their semi-finals exit.

Unlike the 2016 opener, the 2018 one should be a much tighter affair as Uganda have improved significantly since coach Faridah Bulega took over from long-serving Majidah Nantanda.

Hosts meet holders

The late kick-off of the opening day set for 16h30 local time (17h30 EAT) will see hosts Rwanda entertain holders Tanzania.

This too will be a repeat of a group stage fixture in the last edition where Tanzania snatched a 3-2 win in one of the most thrilling matches of Cecafa 2016.

With Rwanda seeking revenge on home turf, this should be a scintillating match, though the more experienced Tanzania come to it with a slight edge.

Five of the twelve Cecafa nations entered the 2018 edition, which will be will be played in a round-robin format.

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