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Somalia, Djibouti fire blanks in CECAFA opener

Djibouti striker Mahdi Houssein tries to go past Somalia’s Liban Abdiaziz and Ali Mohammed during their CECAFA Senior Challenge Group A opener at the Lugogo Stadium in Kampala on December 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 7 – Somalia and Djibouti played to a barren draw in rainy conditions in the opening match of the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Lugogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Riverains de la Mer Rouge as the Djibouti side is nicknamed will only have themselves to blame after creating most of the scoring chances, but couldn’t hit the back of the net especially in the first half when the pitch was better.

Djibouti were unlucky not to go into the breather with their tails up as they were twice denied by the upright and twice but brilliant goalkeeping from Somalia shot stopper Said Aweys Ali.

On the half hour mark, Mohamed Fouad picked up the ball brilliantly inside the box, but his first shot was blocked by a brilliant save from Ali. He picked up the rebound , but his second bite on the cherry ended up cracking under the bar.

Seven minutes later, Fouad was denied by the bar once again, this time his stinging shot from distance catching the keeper off guard.

It was a balanced game, but Djibouti had most of the opportunities to score.

Djibouti midfielder Warsama Hassan tries to go past Somalia’s Yonis Abdirizak during their CECAFA Senior Challenge Group A opener at the Lugogo Stadium in Kampala on December 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

As early as the second minute Abdulkaber Djama had a chance, but his touch from Mohamed Boourham’s shot from inside the box went wide.

Mahdi Houssein had another chance later when he ran into a ball planted behind the defense, but he took a hurried shot when he had acres of space ahead of him, his effort sliding wide.

Somalia were exciting with their touches, but unfortunately didn’t have much to show for it. Omar Abdulahi Mohammed was their best player with his deft touches and quick turns, but it was only entertainment to the fans but nothing to change the statistic of goals scored.

In the second half, play was made difficult with heavy rains pounding the Ugandan capital and a water logged pitch made it difficult for the ball to move freely.

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There were a few chances with Ahmed Youssouf having a curling effort go just wide wile Fouad had another opportunity when he broke into the box, but took too much time on the ball with his eventual shot blocked.

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