The home side starting a new era without Serbian coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic netted two goals by Mutyaba in the first half before Derrick Nsibambi added the third at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Amavubi tried to fight back with skipper Djihad Bizimana holding well in the midfield, but the Ugandan defenders stood firm. On 25 minutes, some good inter passing by Milton Karisa released Mutyba who made no mistake shooting past the Rwanda goalkeeper Marcel Nzarora.
With a 2-0 lead, the Cranes caretaker coach Moses Basena brought on Tom Masiko for Bernard Muwanga, but it was the Rwanda side which resumed with lots of urgency looking to pull back a goal.
With only Nzarora to beat, Mutyaba should have made it 3-0 but he blasted wide three minutes into the second half.
On 51 minutes, Karisa was the provider again as Nsibambi shot past Nzarora to take the game beyond the visitors.
Rwanda coach Antoine Hey made some changes, but to no avail as the Cranes continued to dominant the game. Mutyaba then paved way for Paul Mucureezi after 60 minutes before Muhammed Shaban also replaced a tired Moses Waiswa all for Uganda.
The Rwanda team continued to push forward and a Bizimana goal bound shot five minutes from time was punched out for a corner by Uganda goalkeeper Isima Watenga.
The return leg will take place on Saturday, 19 August 2017 at the Stade Regional de Nyamirambo in Kigali, with the winner over the two legs qualifying for the final tournament scheduled for 12 January to 4 February 2018 in Kenya.
Moses Basena (Acting Head Coach, Uganda)
We are happy that we managed to get three goals in Kampala. But the battle is not yet won.
Antoine Hey (Head Coach, Rwanda)
We are disappointed by the loss, but we shall go back and correct the mistakes ahead of the return leg.
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