‘Migingo derby’ on
Kenya Sevens national team head coach Innocent Simiyu expects his players to be ruthless against neighbours Uganda in their opening match of the second Emirates invitational sevens tournament at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai scheduled at 10.12am today.
Stakes will be raised in then clash dubbed the ‘Migingo derby’ as both teams will be seeking to stamp their authority over the other.
Simiyu expects a clean sheet for Shujaa in the contest whereas Uganda Cranes team manager Michael Wandera looks forward to testing their game strategies and collect crucial exposure ahead of their final Olympics qualification event in June.
“Our focus now is the first match against Uganda where we need to stamp our authority to earn the much needed confidence going forward.
We expect the boys to perform well at this tournament and we are happy with their recovery after the first tournament, which makes us foresee a good outing,” Simiyu told People Sport.
He added: “The boys are ready to go and are targeting a win this weekend as we have done enough preparations for the tournament.
We also thank Shujaa fans for the support and we are looking forward to a good derby and tournament.”
Shujaa finished third in the first event last week whereas Uganda finished at the bottom of the first round rankings.
It was Kenya’s third international event after two Madrid Cup events in Spain in February whereas for Uganda Cranes it was their first outing since Covid-19 pandemic disrupted sports in March 2020.
Uganda Cranes was, however, not a pushover side despite their rank after the first event as the Cranes put up good fights in their matches and had a memorable first half against the eventual champions Argentina when Uganda’s speedster and former Kabras rugby club winger Philip Wokorach and skipper Michael Wokorach gave Cranes a 14-12 half time lead over the Pumas.
“We last met Kenya in the Olympic qualifiers in 2019 in South Africa and we can’t wait to face them again in the East Africa derby here in Dubai.