Kenya men’s national American Football team, White Rhinos secured an impressive 14-0 win against their Ugandan counterparts, The Generals in the first leg of the Africa Zone Series held on Sunday at Legends Grounds in Kampala.
The return leg of the series will be held on 12th December in Nairobi. The overall winner of the series after two legs will qualify for next year’s World Championships that will be played in Finland.
In Kampala, the game started off on a lower tone for it was still raining at kickoff. Both teams struggled to make headway against each other’s defense. However, after more minutes into the game, both sides began to gain momentum to the excitement of the crowd.
As the match progressed, Kenya’s superiority became increasingly evident. Rama Olwande was the first to touch down earning the visitors the lead. The try was successful and the White Rhinos were 0-8 up at halftime.
Kenya ensured that Uganda do not mount a come back to the game thanks to their strong defensive line preventing the home side from making significant gains
Hobson Ndege, the fearless linebacker (Mtu kazi), effortlessly blitzed the home side’s giants halting their runs with remarkable energy.
Meanwhile, towards the and of the game, the Kenyans buried the match when they ran the ball into Uganda’s end zone. 00-14 was the end result with Kenya heading back home with the win.
Fans and pundits alike are already speculating about what this result means for both teams. Many are anticipating that this victory could be a turning point for the sport in both countries with Kenya likely to strive to hold onto their lead in the return leg while Uganda will seek to overturn the first leg defeat.
The result aside, this game marked a significant achievement for American Football Federation of Uganda (AFFU) who have now hosted two major competitive and full contact events having hosted the inaugural event last year.
It is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of both AFFU and Kenya Federation of American Football (KFAF) who have ensured that their countries are among the few in the continent to fully embrace the sport.
Whatever the future holds, one thing is clear: American football is on the rise, and the Africa Zone Series is a testament to the potential that exists in the region and the continent at large.