Uganda Cranes won a game at AFCON for the first time since 1978 when they beat Nigeria in the semi finals.
Uganda did not snatch this one, they were utterly the better team against a DR Congo team that had foreign based stars.
Both goals were from dead ball situations – Patrick Kaddu headed home from a corner before Emmanuel Okwi connected onto Farouk Miya’s beautiful free kick just after half-time.
The players played tirelessly, and if this performance can be replicated against Zimbabwe next Wednesday, Sebastien Desabre’s charges will be in knockout.
Denis Onyango – 6.2/10
There were some mistakes including his failure to keep out a teasing cross very early into the game but Bolasie failed to head in. He was almost beaten by Bolingi with a header rattling the crossbar. However, he made some reflex saves to keep a clean sheet. He was not so much troubled as it was earlier expected.
Bevis Mugabi – 6/10
Many expected him to be the weak link given the fact that he lacks pace. However, what he lacks in speed, he has it with composure. He literally had less to do with going forward but kept a toothless DR Congo at bay. He never came out strong during aerial deliveries though.
Godfrey Walusimbi – 6.5/10
He ran out if steam towards the end but he had some good deliveries including one that Kaddu failed to send into the net. He was relatively stable at the back. He meant business.
Murushid Jjuuko – 7/10
Booked in the 35th minute for a tackle on Mbemba but managed to live cautiously till the final whistle. Very composed and confident. He threw himself into tackles despite looking a yard off DRC’s class in attacker initially.
Hassan Wasswa – 8/10
Was hugely troubled but successful stopped DRC’s moves clinically. He defended well, and continues to show how big an integral figure he is to the Cranes. He never gave breathing space to Cedric Bakambu.
Khalid Aucho – 8.3/10
A water Carrier in the midfield. The team’s silent weapon and unsung hero. He did all the dirty work as Cranes took command of proceedings in the middle of the park. He intercepted everything and came out at one point to riffle at goal but his effort went over and wide.
Mike Azira – 8.3/10
His chemistry with Aucho literally won the game for the Cranes. He made passing easy, just like Tony Mawejje used to. Very comfortable on the ball and went for easy safe passes. He will be required to be more adventurous though. He tirelsy worked hard to make DR Congo chase shadows.
Abdul Lumala – 7/10
Very explosive. He never feared to drive going forward but his only problem is deciding when to pass or make a dribble which sometimes led to dispossession. He engineered Uganda’s fast attack in the sixth minute and he was responsible for that corner which brought Kaddu’s goal, as his effort from the right was deflected out for a corner. He got stretchered off in the latter stages to be replaced by Isaac Muleme. We are yet to see the best of him, am sure.
Patrick Kaddu – 7.7/10
He wasted many chances but who cares. He took the country to AFCON and his header in the 15th minute set the tone, to make sure that Uganda stays there a little longer. He positioned himself very well, ran away from the markers and always a threat during dead balls and crosses.
Emmanuel Okwi – 7.9/10
He was everywhere and got time to loiter at both flanks. Although he did not get the ball sensitive areas where he could have hurt DR Congo more, his header at restart was all everyone wanted from him.
Farouk Miya – 8.5/10
Without doubt, believe it or not, he engineered most of Uganda’s moves going forward. He carried the ball from deep in the midfield to the opponent’s area. He assisted both goals. He was unlucky not to be given a penalty after going down in the box when he beat the goalkeeper. He had tested the goalkeeper from all areas including a dipping freekick which came close to make it 3-0. Mpeko and Luyindana will have Miya in their nightmare dreams.
Allan Kyambadde (replaced Kaddu) – 4
Timothy Awany (replaced Miya) – N/A
Isaac Muleme (replaced Lumala) – N/A
Coach Sebastien Desabre – N/A
He selected a cautious lineup which could later payoff. Never rushed substitutions.