Reigning champions and host Uganda Cranes have booked themselves a place into the last eight (quarter finals) of the ongoing 2012 edition of the Tusker Cecafa senior challenge cup in Kampala.
Without a lose and no goal conceded the Uganda Cranes on Tuesday evening made it two wins sailing through after beating Africa Cup of nations bound Ethiopia 1-0 in their second match of the tournament to go through with six points.
In the first game on the opening day last Saturday 24th November, the hosts opened their title defense by beating their East African Community counterparts and arch-rival Kenya 1-0. By the time of this report Kenya are still level with Ethiopia on three points in the second place with a battle of who qualifies between then as the second best qualifier to the quarters.
Uganda therefore becomes the first team to reach the last eight of the Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup.
But the Cranes qualified without their hitherto first choice goalkeeper Abel Dhaira, who was ruled out of the competition with an injury sustained in a collision with Kenyan striker Rama Salim on Saturday.
Dhaira sustained three fractures round his left eye and won't participate in the (remaining matches of) the tournament as doctors recommended.
The lanky shot stopper is relaxed although disappointed. "It's a big blow. We wish him a quick recovery. The good news is "He does not need an operation." Coach Bobby Williamson told reporters in Kampala.
Hamza Muwonge, who replaced the 25-year-old goalkeeper in the second half of Uganda's 1-0 win over Kenya, will now start ahead of Ali Kimera, one of a few changes Bobby could make.
Striker Brain Umony scored the lone goal that made sure cranes qualify in the first half.
Kenya's 2-0 defeat of S.Sudan could not help matters because they had earlier lost to Uganda in the opening fixture.
Groups B and C teams have their fate yet to be decided by matches to be played tomorrow Wednesday 28th.
Tanzania, Rwanda have chances of qualifying having worked very hard for wins at their opening matches in group B.
Winners of their groups automatically qualify to the quarter stages with the best two qualifiers also standing a chance to qualify.