Uganda Vs Zambia: A History Of Titanic Battles

IF history is anything to go by, Uganda will beat Zambia in next weekend’s Africa Cup tie in Ndola. But that could only hold water if Zambia didn’t bag the Africa Cup early this year.
From the Uganda victory over Zambia in 1973 to the agony at the Nations Cup – and then a Magid Musisi hat-trick, The Cranes versus Chipolopolo is a derby of sorts.
Let’s now look at the encounters these two teams have had since their debut in 1973.
1973 Cecafa Cup group phase: (1-1, Uganda 2-1 after replay)
Uganda hosted the first-ever East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala. With The Cranes pooled alongside Zambia in the same group, only one team had to qualify for the final. Both teams walloped Somalia 6-1 before playing out a 1-1 draw, a result that tied their points and goal difference.
A replay was ordered the next day. With determination, Uganda’s David Otti’s men came from one goal down to win 2-1 courtesy of goals by Polly Ouma and Stanley “Tanker” Mubiru. Uganda went on to win the title.
1974 Nations Cup group phase: Zambia 1-0
It was always going to be a tall order for both teams to qualify from a group that included hosts Egypt and Ivory Coast. Both teams lost to Egypt but while The Cranes drew with Ivory Coast, Zambia won against the West Africans to set up a must-win for Uganda in the final group game.
In the end, Zambia won the match 1-0 to progress to the semis.
1975 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier: Zambia 2-1 first leg, Uganda 3-0 return leg
After demolishing Mauritius in the preliminary round, Uganda was pitted against Zambia for a place in the finals. Having lost the first leg 1-2 in Lusaka, The Cranes were in a must-win situation at Nakivubo, Ugamda.
However, things didn’t go to plan and with Zambia holding out for a goalless draw, Uganda’s late subs Barnabas Mwesiga and Polly Ouma changed the game with 20 minutes left.
Ouma teed up Phillip Omondi for the opener and five minutes later, Mwesiga dribbled on the left before laying an assist for Ouma to make it 2-0. Ouma returned the favour by setting up Mwesiga for the third. The victory saw Uganda qualify for the 1976 Nations Cup in Ethiopia.
1976 Cecafa Cup final: Uganda 2-0
Drawn in the same group, both Zambia and Uganda easily cruised past Zanzibar and Somalia to qualify to the semis with a game to spare.
However, the battle to decide who tops the group was anything but competitive and it is widely speculated that The Cranes intentionally lost the match to avoid a clash against the rough Kenyans, a team with no respect for Uganda in the Cecafa Cup.
The Cranes beat Malawi in the semis and Zambia defeated Kenya to set up the final Okee’s men had wanted. True to their word, Uganda beat Zambia 2-0 thanks to strikes from Abbey Nasur and Moses Nsereko.
1978 World Cup qualifier: Uganda 2-0 first leg, Zambia 4-1 return leg
This is perhaps the most dramatic faceoff between the two nations. The Cranes comfortably won the first leg 2-0 at Nakivubo and were overwhelming favourites to make it through in Ndola. Thankfully, Zambia – at the time nicknamed KK Boys in reference to the initials of then leader Kenneth Kaunda – never gave up and won 3-1 over the 90 minutes.
Unfounded joy gripped the Ugandan bench as players and the technical team celebrated ‘progress on away-goals rule’ but to their shock, match officials ordered for extra time. It had been agreed upon in the pre-match meeting that the away-goals rule wouldn’t count but for some reason, Ugandan officials – perhaps overconfident of finishing the job in 90 minutes – chose to conceal the info to the technical bench.
Having not planned for situation, Ugandan players re-entered the field crestfallen and in no time conceded a fourth which ended their dream of going to Argentina.
1978 Cecafa Cup final: 0-0 (Uganda 5-3 on penalties)
Months later, the two were at it again, meeting in the Cecafa Cup final held in Mogadishu, Somalia. The tension-packed game ended goalless after extra-time but Uganda went on to win 5-3 in the shoot-outs thanks mainly to the heroics of goalie Paul Ssali, who saved two penalties.
1978 Cecafa Cup semifinal: Zambia 4-0
After finishing runners-up at the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations, The Cranes were favourites to lift the title. However, an impending war with Tanzania caused panic and distraction in The Cranes dressing room because several players belonged to army side Simba.
Zambia beat Uganda 2-1 in the group phase but the two teams would later meet again in the semis. By that time, the war – which would ultimately lead to the overthrow of Idi Amin – had intensified, causing more fear. So, Zambia thus took advantage and ran riot with a 4-0 victory.
1979 Cecafa Cup group phase: Zambia 2-1
The Cranes side had disintegrated after the war with the arrest and incarceration of some players while a few fled to exile. Those detained included Paul Ssali, Meddie Lubega, Godfrey Kisitu and Francis Kulabigwo.
Others like Denis Obua, Polly Ouma, Timothy Ayieko and Abbey Nasur crossed to Kenya while Phillip Omondi, Tom Lwanga, Hussein Matovu joined the paid ranks in United Arab Emirates. Only skipper Jimmy Kirunda, Jamil Kasirye, Moses Sentamu, Jimmy Muguwa, Moses Nsereko, Mike Kiganda and Eddie Semwanga stayed around in the new-look Cranes side.
Zambia won the group opener 2-1 before The Cranes imploded with two more defeats to Kenya and Tanzania. This poor results forced the Uganda government to suspend the national team from taking part in any sports events for a year.
1981 Cecafa Cup third place playoff: Zambia 1-0
Uganda returned to the international scene at the Tanzania-hosted Cecafa Cup. Zambia yet again stood in the way in the group phase but Uganda ran away 3-1 winners to top the group, only to fall at the hands of Kenya in the semis.
Zambia’s defeat to Tanzania at the same stage meant both had to settle the score in the loser’s match, which Zambia won 1-0.
1984 World Cup qualifier: Zambia 3-0 first leg, Uganda 1-0 return leg
Once again Uganda got pitted against Zambia in World Cup qualifiers. Hosting the first leg, Zambia silenced Uganda with a 3-0 win in Ndola. The Cranes huffed and puffed in the second leg but could only manage a 1-0 win courtesy of Godfrey Kateregga to bow out 1-3 on aggregates.
1984 Cecafa Cup group phase: 1-1
Hosted by Uganda, The Cranes needed a point to be sure of qualification to the semis but Zambia had already qualified. In the end, Frank Kyazze cancelled out Zambia’s lead in the 1-1 draw but Malawi eliminated the Ugandans in the semis.
1988 Seoul Olympics qualifier: Uganda 2-1 first leg, Zambia 5-0 return leg
In the Kampala first leg, goals by Magid Musisi and Ronald Vubya were enough to seal a 2-1 win. However, The Cranes self destructed when skipper John Latigo sneaked out of camp as they prepared for the second leg.
Team Manager Edward Senkwangu Sewagudde suspended the right back and replaced him with Sam Kabugo. The confusion aided Zambia to turn tables in the return leg, creating an avenue on the Kabugo wing in the 5-0 rout.
1987 Cecafa Cup group phase: Uganda 4-0
There is only one magical memory to this match. Uganda’s Magid Musisi scared the life out of the Zambian defence three times. The 4-0 scoreline was more than sensational. It was the manner in which Musisi scored his goals that will forever stay in people’s minds: the movement off the ball, aerial dominance, power in his shots and the goals of course, each one a diamond in a crowning achievement.
1989 Cecafa Cup semifinal: Uganda 3-1
Uganda had finished Group A runners-up and it seemed an uphill task to overcome Zambia, which was in sparkling form having also participated at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. But Cranes defied the odds to win 3-1. Magid Musisi, Umar Senoga and Robert Aloro did the damage as Uganda went on to win the title for the first time in 12-years.
1992 Cecafa Cup semifinal: 0-0 (Uganda 4-2 on penalties)
The clash is best remembered as Zambia’s last participation in the event and it’s also the last time the two teams met in a competitive game. Fortunately for The Cranes, the match extended Zambia’s jinx penalty shootouts.
Both teams finished the 120 minutes deadlocked and Uganda’s 4-2 win after tense spot-kicks was a watershed moment for goalie Sadiq Wassa, who saved two penalties. The Cranes would go on to win the title after beating Tanzania 1-0.

12 Responses to "Uganda Vs Zambia: A History Of Titanic Battles"

  1. HH   September 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Hiyeeee! Hipololo
    iyee chipolopolo!

  2. The pros   September 4, 2012 at 2:42 am

    History is history

  3. GUN   September 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

    They are not a bad team but we will beat them hands down,they need a mirracle which wont hapen.

  4. Phill - One   September 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Twalileka ukulusa bane. Chipolopolo fyabasepa kusuminafye ati tulibakali Africa baicailefye. We have to prove to the that AFCON Victory is really ours….

  5. wAzA   September 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Meet the african champions the new zambia

  6. Tom banoko Sc.   September 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Come Saturday, Zam 3-0 Ugan

  7. PIKE   September 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    first eleven.
    Kennedy mweene,chintu kampamba,emmanuel mbola, hichani himonde, joseph musonda,isaac chansa, ranford kalaba,christopher katongo,emmanuel mayuka, jacob mulenga and james chamanga.

  8. Minister Without Portfolio   September 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Zambia 5-1 Uganda

  9. hillzberg   September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    The zambian team is far much better than uganda and i can predict tha zambia will win with no less than 3 goals

  10. Pv   September 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Good football history…

  11. David   September 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Uganda is going to show Zambia a different class of ball today

  12. Observer   September 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    mwashininkisha bane ati bola yalikosa.
    too many dreamers in here…. uganda has always been giving us problems. thats football. i remember Liverpool lost matches evertime they played Sheffield. at this time Liverpool were in their own class but this team which could lose easily to other smaller teams used to give liverpool nitemares. the same with uganda, kwati fyalitwikatilapo fye mwe!!!