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Kenyan Premier League champions Tusker FC are the new East and Central Africa Club Champions.

The brewers, playing with a man less, came from behind to win the regional title after seven years with a 2-1 win over Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the new 60,000-seater ultra-modern National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

After trailing their opponents 1-0 at half time, Tusker equalised through the towering central defender Joseph Shikokoti, who easily headed in the ball in the 70th minute and new signing Oscar Kadenge scored the winner after a counter attack with three minutes remaining.

Tusker, playing without an out and out striker created few chances in the match and coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee was almost made to pay for using all his substitutes early in the match when dependable midfielder Osborne Monday suffered an ankle injury in the 77th minute after a challenge from URA’s Ismail Kigozi.

"In a final you have to throw everything you have in order to win and that is why I used all my substitutes but it was unfortunate that Monday suffered an injury before the final whistle.

"I’ am very happy with the win being the first for a Kenyan club since 2001 and I now want to focus on the local league," a delighted Mulee said.

Meanwhile, Simba SC were given a walk over their arch rivals Yanga in the third play offs after their opponents failed to turn up. Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye said they did not know the reasons behind Yanga’s abandonment of the match and said the regional body was to meet last evening to decide on the disciplinary measures for the team.

Tusker lineup- Bonface Otieno, John Njoroge, Ibrahim Shikanda, Joseph Shikokoti, Humprey Okoti, Edward Kauka, Hassan Adden (John Kio 45), Osborne Monday, Crispin Odula (Kevin Omondi 56) and Simon Mburu (Oscar Kadenge 58).

Prize money: Winners-Sh1.8 million ($ 30,000); Runner-up-Sh1.2m ($ 20,000); Third placed- Sh620, 000 ($10,000).

Past winners:
2007- APR (Rwanda);
2006- Police (Uganda);
2005- SC Villa (Uganda);
2004- APR (Rwanda);
2003- SC Villa (Uganda);
2002- Simba SC (Tanzania);
1999- Yanga (Tanzania);
1998- Rayon (Rwanda);
1996- Simba SC (Tanzania);
1995- Simba SC (Tanzania).

Source: parts of an article in East Standard, 28.07.2008, author: James Waindi

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