For the second consecutive time since ending a 39 year jinx without playing at at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final tournament, Uganda’s national football team, The Cranes, has again qualified after defeating visitors Cape Verde 1-0 in Kampala.
Uganda only needed a point to seal a spot in Cameroon next year, but Patrick Kaddu’s 78th minute gave them three points.
Cranes started the game with a lot of vigour which forced the Cape Verde Islanders to foul Aucho Khaled in the second minute of play before Nicolas Wadada conceded a corner, which the visitors took over the bar.
Sixteen minutes later, Gorica’s forward Farouk Miya, took a close range attempt, only to be saved by Cape Verde’s goalie Graca Thiery.
In the 42nd minute, Graca saved Isaac Muleme’s spectacular shot metres away from the 18 yards box before ending the first half goalless.
At the start of the second half, the Atlantic Ocean Islanders replaced Ryan Mendes with Heldon Ramos and Julio Tavares for Helder Luis Lopes Vieira in the 62nd minute in their pursuit of an away goal.
Cranes tactician, Sebastian Desabre made his first substitution in the 65th minute when he removed Isaac Muleme and replaced him with Allan Kyambadde.
The visitors almost scored in the 75th minute when Jorge Semedo dodged the entire Crane’s back line and beat goalkeeper Denis Onyango, only to be cleared by Murushid Juuko off the goalline.
Three minutes later, KCCA FC’s Patrick Kaddu sent the crowd into endless jubilation when his spectacular header stopped in the back of Cape Verde’s net.
In the added time, Timothy Awani was brought on the pitch in place of Farouk Miya before ending the game 1-0 in favour of the Cranes.
Uganda has now qualified for the the final tournament in Cameroon with a game at hand. They will play their final group game early next year against Taifa Stars of Tanzania.
Uganda has extended the unbeaten run and haven’t conceded any goal in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers yet.
Pending Tanzania’s game against Lesotho in Maseru tomorrow, Uganda leads group L with 13 points ahead of Tanzania who have only 5 points. Cape Verde is third with 4 points and Lesotho sits at the bottom with only two points.
In Gabon last year, Uganda lost 1-0 against both Ghana and Egypt and registered a one all draw against Mali.
We now await to see how the Uganda Cranes will perform in next year’s tournament.