Uganda Cranes win regional tourney after thrashing Eritrea
Rodgers Ndegwa in Kampala
Uganda Cranes were yesterday crowned the new regional champions after they beat tournament dark horses Eritrea 3-0 in an entertaining final here.
Defending champions Harambee Stars got a consolation by settling for the third prize after they pipped rivals Tanzania 2-1 at the same venue in an early kick-off at the KCC grounds.
Uganda got their goals through Anukan Bright in the highly physical first half before his team-mates Mustafa Kizza and Joel Madondo each scored a goal apiece in the second half to seal the victory and ensure the coveted trophy remained in Kampala.
Harambee Stars’ striker Oscar Wamalwa of plies his trade for Ulinzi Warriors, won the golden boot award after ending the competition with three goals.
Uganda’s custodian Lukwago Kizza won the best goalkeeper award, while best player went to Eritrea’s captain Robel Teklemichael as Cranes were voted the fair play team of the competition.
After seeing off Kenya 4-1 in their journey to the finals, Eritrea who was featured in their first-ever finals found Uganda a tough nut to crack in both halves to go home as the tournament’s runners up.
Ugandan’s coach Jonathan McKinstry said his players played according to his script which guaranteed them the emphatic win in the finals.
“The players did a good job by beating their equally worthy opponents at the finals, something that makes me very happy.
Gauging by this tournament I have identified a couple of players who can help us in our African Nations Championship (CHAN) journey,” said McKinstry after his win.
Meanwhile, Gor Mahia’s Kenneth Muguna scored his first goal of the tournament in the 14th minute of play from a Wamalwa cross from the right-wing.
Lawrence Juma will only have himself to blame after failing to beat Tanzania’s Robert Mapigano on one situation in the 25th minutes to add the tally before half time.