Uganda Cranes commenced the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup expedition on a sound footing following a slim 2-1 victory over Burundi at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo on Saturday evening.
Proline FC Midfielder Bright Anukani opened up the scores for the home side in the 8th minute with a low shot on target after striker Fahad Bayo connected him with a headed pass.
In the 21st minute, Fahad Bayo doubled the lead to make it 2-0 for Uganda Cranes before the break.
Burundi pulled back in the second half with a consolation from the spot-kick in the 60th minute through Rurasenga Cedric Danny.
Uganda Cranes would have added the third goal but Allan Okello’s shot hit the post in the 77th minute.
Viane Sekajugo was in a good position to net the rebound but his effort went over the bar.
‘We were very much pleased with the first half and our players were implementing what we have practiced. All we wanted to do was working well in the first half. But the second we new Burundi would be aggressive but apart from the penalty, we conceded their other chances our opponents received as we did when quite a number of chances flashed away especially that of Sekajugo and Okello. It’s wasn’t good in the second half but still, we deserved the three points.’ Said Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry during a post-match interview.
Uganda Cranes head coach made three tactical changes in the second half by bringing on KCCA midfielder Nicolas Kasozi for Shafiq Kagimu in the 69th minute.
Then he called on a double change ten minutes later ; introducing Joackim Ojera and Muzamiru Mutyaba for Viane Sekajugo and Bright Anukani respectively.
The first game in group A between Somalia and Djibouti ended goal-less.
Uganda Cranes XI: Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Halid Lwaliwa, Shafiq Kagimu (69′ Nicholas Kasozi), Bright Anukani (79′ Muzamiru Mutyaba), Allan Okello, Ben Ocen, Fahad Bayo, Viane Sekajugo (79′ Joackim Ojera)
Subs Not Used: Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Musitafa Mujuzi, Paul Mbowa, Karim Watambala, Steven Mukwala, Joel Madondo