News: Bobby Williamson’s formula that unlocked Uganda
Kenya beat Uganda at CECAFA for the first time in 14 years on Sun 22 Nov, 2015   (Credit:

Bobby Williamson has done it, leading Kenya to a historic win over Kenya’s great rivals Uganda at the Council of East and Central Africa Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup on Sunday 22 November 2015.

 Kenya’s Harambee Stars registered a 2-0 win over the Uganda Cranes at the Addis Ababa Stadium, Ethiopia as the two started their chase for the 2015 CECAFA title.

Return leg

Goals in each half by Jacob Keli and Michael Olunga handed Kenya the win, the first in five and a half years over Uganda.

That win is the first since 6 June 2010, when under Twahir Muhidin, Kenya beat Uganda 2-1 that was incidentally coached by Bobby Williamson, in the first round return leg game towards the 2011 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Sunday’s win was historic in the sense that it was the first time that Kenya beat the Cranes in the CECAFA Senior challenge Cup for the first time in 14 years.

Towards their match to the 2002 CECAFA title, a 3-2 win over Tanzania, Kenya, then coached by Jacob Ghost Mulee handed a Paul Hasule coached Uganda a 3-1 beating in the semifinal played at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha.

Anthony Mathenge, Paul Oyuga and the then Kenyan skipper Robert Mambo scored in that game with Philip Obwiny netting the consolation for Uganda.

Since the advent of the CECAFA in 1973, and prior to the most recent win, Kenya had only beaten Uganda nine times at the Senior Challenge Cup – twice in the 70’s, five times in the 80’s, once in the 90s and the win in 2002.


With the latest win Williamson joins a short list of coaches that have managed a win over Uganda at CECAFA. Jonathan Niva and Polish Gregory Palakow  in the 70s, Marshall Mulwa and Mohammed Kheri in the 80s, Gerry Saurer in the 90s and Mulee in 2002.

The 2002 win was identical to the previous triumph of 1991 when, on 4 December 1991 Kenya, then coached by hotelier Gerald Saurer had similarly beaten Uganda 3-1 at the semis stage in Nakivubo Stadium.

Henry Nyandoro, Simon Ndungu and wingback Francis Oduor scored for Kenya as Robert Alaro got the lone goal for Uganda. The team went on to lose 2-0 to Zambia in the final.

In the 80’s Kenya had the formulae of unlocking Uganda almost at will. No man knew that better than one Marshall Mulwa who, under the philosophy of total football, delivered four of the five wins over Uganda in the regional diadem.

In winning three consecutive CECAFA titles in 1981, 82 and 83, Kenya went past Uganda as well as in 1985 when the team made a return to the final – all under Mulwa.

On 24 November, 1981 Kenya beat Uganda 3-1 at the semis played at the National Stadium, Dar to book a place in the final.

Group stages

In the game officiated by Frank Valdemarca, James Jacaranda Ouma scored a brace and Jared Ingutia  added the third as Godfrey Katerega scored for Uganda.

On November 1982, Kenya tied 1-1 with Uganda in the final overseen by Malawi’s Billie Pambala but went on to win 5-3 on post match penalties to retain the 1981 title. Issa Sekatawa and Wilberforce Mulamba scored the goals in regulation time.

On 12 November 1983 Kenya beat Uganda 2-1 at the City Stadium in the group stages. Jean-Baptiste Semanobe scored first for Uganda before goals from Mulamba and Sammy Taabu gave Kenya the win.

On 11 October 1985 Uganda and Kenya tied 0-0 at the Rufaro Stadium, Bulawayo during a semi final clash but it is Kenya that went through after winning the post match shoots 3-1.

The next and final win for Kenya over Uganda in the 80’s was under Mohammed Kheri. From the Nyayo Stadium, in a group stage game played on 2 December, Kenya beat Uganda 2-1. John Odie scored a brace and Ummar Senoga the lone goal for Uganda.

The first win for Kenya over Uganda at CECAFA was on 19 November 1978 when, under Jonathan Niva, the former beat the Cranes 2-0 in a Bronze match played at the Kamuzu Banda Stadium, Malawi. Elly Adero and Morris Oloo scored the goals.

Dennis Obua

The second win came on 7 November 1979 at the City Stadium, Nairobi during the group stages. The game officiated by Zanzibar’s Musa Bakari saw Kenya, then coached by non-English speaking Gregory Palakow from Poland won the game 3-1.

A goal from Aggrey Lukoye and brace from Jack Shikhulu gave Kenya the win. Dennis Obua got the consolation for Uganda.

Till the latest win, Kenya largely struggles to beat Uganda at CECAFA. Interestingly, Kenya never beat Uganda while Williamson was in charge as he won all five games over Kenya between 2008 and 2012 before exiting in April 2013, a period that saw him scoop four out of a possible five regional titles.

Under Bobby, Uganda beat Kenya in the final of the 2008 (played on 9 January 2009) and 2012, winning 1-0 and 2-1, both times in Uganda, respectively.

Uganda knocked out Kenya in the quarters in 2009 at Nyayo Stadium and at the group stages of the 2010 and 2012 edition

Now that Bobby in on this other side, with Kenya, he certainly unleashed the formula to unlock Uganda.   

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