Thursday, December 18
Kenya 2-1 Tanzania
Uganda 3-0 Eritrea
Uganda Cranes thrashed Eritrea to win it’s 15th Council for East and Central Africa Football Assocition (CECAFA) senior challenge title on home soil in an entertaining final played at Startimes Stadium, Lugogo.
Goals, one each from Bright Anukani, Mustafa Kizza and Joel Madondo, saw Uganda Cranes out muscle a determined Eritrea.
This is the 15th CECAFA tourney for Uganda after previous wins in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
“It’s been a good tourney for us,” Cranes coach Jonathan Mckinstry said. “We knew its going to be very tight so we had to manage our schedule very well. We missed many good chances but we have managed to show that we have enough quality to score goals.”
Uganda were starved of possession on many occasions but showed quality and experience in a game they should have won by a better margin.
Anukani scored the opener when he collected from Allan Okello before squeezing at near post to set the tone in the first half.
The Proline midfielder orchestrated plays, controlled tempo and dominated proceedings. The youngster was involved in all the three goals.
He started the attack when he found Karim Watambala before the Vipers’ midfielder laid for Kizza who blasted the second.
Anukani also freed Ben Ocen whose well weighed delivery was poked in by substitute Madondo.
Anukani could have bagged a double but saw effort rise over the target.
Eritrea were dominant but lacked a cutting edge despite troubling Cranes defence the entire game.
“Uganda is not an easy team,” said Eritrea coach Alemseghed Efrem Haile. “We missed many chances but am very proud of my boys.”
“This is the first final for Eritrea and it shows how far we have come. Congratulations to Uganda, it was a good moment.”
The Cranes now turn focus to African Nations Championship set next year in Cameroon.
Uganda Cranes XI
Charles Lukwago (GK, KCCA FC), Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), John Revita (KCCA FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Joachim Ojera (URA FC), Fahad Bayo (Vipers SC), Viane Sekajugo (Wakiso Giants)
Joel Mutakubwa (GK) (Kyetume), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC), Paul Mbowa (URA FC), Karim Watambala (Vipers SC), Nicolas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC, Steven Mukwala (Maroons FC), Joel Madondo (Busoga United) Ben Ocen (Police FC)