This year’s Cecafa Challenge Cup, scheduled for December 3-17 in Kenya, is a relief to the regional body’s secretariat, which had since 2015 failed to hold the annual tournament.
However, the tournament is also an opportunity for many players to prove their worth. Cranes forward Milton Karisa is one such player bracing for the competition. Despite many doubting his ability, Karisa has won nine caps this year, with the last one against Congo-Brazzaville in a 2018 World Cup qualifier last month.
He scored in that game, which ended one-all. Now he hopes he can emulate other Cranes forwards such as Faruku Miya and Brian Umony, whose stock rose at the Cecafa Challenge Cup.
Following Karisa’s recent form, which has seen him score six of Vipers SC’s 13 league goals this season, his endeavour and determination could be decisive for Cranes.
Yet, Karisa’s critics feel his game is largely about running but little technique. But his former coach at BUL FC Kefa Kisala said: “I got Karisa from JMC Hippos in 2013 as a role player, who rushes opponents, forcing them to drop possession and not get into rhythm.”
In essence, Karisa is a forward for the pressing game, and enables a team to defend from high up the field, to keep opponents at bay. Kirinya Jinja SS coach Charles Ayiekoh says Karisa is a big-occasion because he has a big heart.
CECAFA CHALLENGE CUP
Kenya v Rwanda
Libya v Tanzania
Uganda v Burundi
Zanzibar v Rwanda
Ethiopia v South Sudan
Kenya v Libya