Mike Mutebi’s landed is first international trophy in senior coaching career on Saturday as KCCA FC beat holders Azam FC of Tanzania to win the Cecafa Kagame Cup after 41 years of waiting.
Mustapha Kizza scored the only goal of the 2019 final played at the Kigali stadium, Nyamirambo after the left back finished off a great team play in the 62nd minute.
Allan Okello, who had a remarkable show at the tournament, scored in the opening six minutes but the referee ruled for a foul in the build up to disallow the goal.
Teenager Sadat Anaku also had an attempt close off Kizza free kick before the Azam custodian kept out Mike Mutyaba effort.
Whereas it was KCCA’s second Cecafa title, it was Mutebi’s first international achievement having won the Premier league, Uganda Cup, FUFA Super Cup, Pilsner Super 8 and KCCA FC invitational back home –all at the Lugogo side.
The Ugandan reigning champions won their maiden title 41 years ago in 1978 before losing at the final the next year. Mutebi heaped praise on the team performance especially the young players, saying that they came with belief to win the tournament and indeed fulfilled their belief.
He said that the performance was generally better in terms of how the team is supposed to play, confidence playing away from home and how to consume pressure from the opposition.
“The bottom line is that they had a very good tournament and that is why we have always insisted to groom our own players within the system. Around 90 % of the players have been from the development side and they have belief. They have started their careers as champions and if you work with players who believe, it becomes easier. We have a squad that will take us all the way,” Mutebi told the media after victory.
ThebGreen Eagles won the tournament’s bronze medal after beating AS Maniema of the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0.
The winner of the annual inter-club regional tournament which is mainly financed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame took home prize money worth $30,000 while the first and second runners up received $20,000 and $10,000 respectively.
KCCA will now shift focus to the 2019 Pilsner Super 8 tournament where they start title defense away against newly promoted side Wakiso Giants on August 1. KCCA, who beat Onduparaka at last year’s final to win the inaugural tournament, will battle for Shs20m cash prize courtesy of sponsors Pilsner Lager.