20 August 2017

Uganda: Cranes Qualify for 2018 Chan Despite 2-0 Loss

Photo: The Observer
Cranes interim coach Moses Basena, second left, and his players celebrate after dumping Rwanda to qualify for 2018 Chan finals

Uganda Cranes have qualified for the 2018 Total Africa Nations Championship despite a 2-0 to neighbours Rwanda.

The Cranes lost 2-0 away in Kigali to hosts Rwanda, but qualified on a 3-2 goal aggregate have won 3-0 in Kitende last week.

"It was a bad start because we conceded two goals in 20 minutes. But I thank the boys for fighting back against a physically strong Rwanda side," coach Moses Basena told URN after the game.

Yannick Mukunzi scored the opening goal after 9 minutes from a corner before defender Thierry Manzi headed in the second after 16 minutes. But the Cranes fought to defend in numbers at the Nyamirambo stadium.

The hosts dominated the game, but Uganda's goalkeeper Ismeal Watenga made several saves. Uganda also had midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba's shot parried away on two occasions by Rwanda's goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimye.

Moses Magogo, the president of the Ugandan FA who attended the match said he was happy that the national team qualified for yet another CHAN tournament. It was all celebration by over 500 traveling Ugandan fans after the final whistle.

Antoine Hey, the Rwanda coach said he was disappointed that his players failed to convert many more scoring chances. "It was good we scored two early goals, but failed to put more pressure to score more," added the German born coach.

It is the fourth straight time Uganda Cranes is qualifying for the CHAN competition after playing at the 2011 (Sudan), 2014 (South Africa) and 2016 (Rwanda) events.

The national team is expected to fly back to Uganda on Sunday before focus turns to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier where Uganda Cranes will host Egypt on August 31 at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole

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