Godfrey Walusimbi of Uganda evades challenge from Mahmoud Hassan of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 21 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Monday Dec 18, 2017. 10:37
The Cranes of Uganda claimed a third spot in the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge after beating Burundi 2-1 in the third-place playoff at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
Uganda started the encounter on a high as they wanted to claim the bronze medal after missing on a opportunity to retain their crown.
Two goals through midfielder Saddam Juma ensured the Cranes revived their pride as they fought back to deny the Burundians a win
Uganda showed character when they fought back as the Swallows took the lead courtesy of Pierre Kwizera in the 23rd minute.
Although both sides came into the encounter chasing a must win, the first 20 minutes barely produced any threat from either side.
However, the Cranes shifted gears with Burundi goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana struggling to keep out crosses by Isaac Muleme on the left flank thereafter.
Kwizera would break the deadlock thanks to goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan’s howler as the keeper let Kwizera’s curling free-kick slip through his fingers into the back of the net.
A wounded Uganda went all out in attack, and Nelson Senkatuka chested down the ball for Derrick Nsibambi in the 32nd minute, yet the latter’s shot from close range was palmed out by Nahimana for a fruitless corner.
Four minutes to the halftime break, Nsibambi failed to finish off Muleme’s corner kick as the equaliser remained elusive for Cranes.
It was 1-0 at half time.
However, the Ugandans levelled the matters in the 49th minute when Juma latched onto a pass from Senkatuka to volley home the leveller from inside the box.
As Uganda continued to attack, Juma would find the second goal with a 75th minute free-kick after he was fouled by Burundi’s skipper Kwizera.
In the wake of the win, Uganda will now head home with Sh1 million for finishing third.