The 12th edition of East African Military Games and Cultural Events started on Monday, with defending champions Kenya beating Burundi 4-0 in a football match played at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Kenya is hosting the games for the third time, and South Sudan is competing for the first time this year. Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania are the other countries taking part in the tournament.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo Tuesday presided over the opening ceremony at Kasarani and urged participants to compete fairly and forge friendships.
“It is our vision to co-exist peacefully as the East African region and therefore these games are very vital. I urge you to use this opportunity to build friendships as individuals and wish you a memorable stay in Kenya,” she said.
Against Burundi Tuesday, Ulinzi Stars were the better side from the onset and they opened the scoring in the seventh minute, burly striker Oscar Wamalwa pouncing on a Brian Birgen cross to slot past Burundian custodian Nkurunzinza Toussait.
Louis Nduwimana could have levelled the scores for Burundi three minutes later but his shot was blocked by Ulinzi Stars defender Mohammed Hassan.
Wamalwa doubled Ulinzi’s lead in the 63rd minute with a lovely shot after Omar Boraafya had headed Brian Birgen’s cross on his path. Boraafya was minutes later rested for Enosh Ochieng, and the latter made it 3-0 with a simple tap in off a Churchill Muloma pass. Wamalwa completed his hat-trick in style, stealing the ball off Jimmy Irakoze before dribbling past two defenders to make it 4-0.
Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso lauded his team for a good game and singled out striker Wamalwa for special praise.
“He was outstanding and I hope he can maintain the form in the league. The games have come at a good time as these matches now serve as friendlies which I can use to identify the weak areas I need to fix before the league kicks off.”
Football: Uganda v Rwanda - 3pm (Kasarani Stadium)
Basketball: (Kasarani Indoor Arena)
Burundi v Tanzania - 2pm
Uganda v Rwanda - 4pm
Kenya v South Sudan - 6pm
Netball: (At Kenya School of Monetary Studies)\
Rwanda v Tanzania - 10am
Burundi v Uganda - 3pm
Volleyball: (At Kasarani Indoor Arena)
Tanzania v Rwanda - 9am
Kenya v Uganda - 11am