Uganda ends 38-year wait, Burkina also qualify
By Independent Writer and AFP
Uganda secured an Africa Cup of Nations tournament place for the first time since 1978 and Burkina Faso also qualified from Group D after a dramatic climax Sunday.
Burkina Faso scored nine minutes into stoppage time in Ouagadougou to edge Botswana 2-1 and top the standings on the head-to-head rule after a match in which three players were red-carded.
Uganda defeated the Comoros 1-0 before a capacity 45,000 Kampala crowd to finish second and clinch one of the two places reserved for the best runners-up.
Burkina Faso and Uganda finished with 13 points each in the six-round mini-league, Botswana collected six and the Comoros three.
AFCON lineup complete
Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda on Sunday filled the final five 2017 Africa Cup of Nations places that were up for grabs.
They will join Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Zimbabwe, all of whom qualified before the final round, and hosts Gabon at the tournament next January.
On a dramatic final day of qualifying, Togo scored five goals, DR Congo and Tunisia four each and Burkina Faso won with a goal nine minutes into stoppage time.
But no celebrations could match those of Uganda, whose last of five appearances at the African football showpiece was in 1978, when they finished runners-up to hosts Ghana.
Full-time Uganda 1-0 Comoros and Uganda qualifies for African Cup of Nations 2017. We last did this in 1978. Congratulations!!!
— Uganda FA [FUFA] (@OfficialFUFA) September 4, 2016
Miya goal the difference
After 38 years littered with near misses to qualify for the biennial African football showpiece, some Ugandan players raised their arms and others sank to their knees as the final whistle sounded.
Dominant against a limited Comoran team, Uganda took the lead on 35 minutes through Belgium-based teenage midfielder Farouk Miya.
He had a shot parried by outstanding goalkeeper Ali Ahamada in a one-one-one situation, but got a second chance from the rebound and fired into the net from close range.
A tension-easing second goal eluded the home team, however, as they remained on top during the second half at the Mandela National Stadium.
Burkina Faso and Uganda join Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Zimbabwe and hosts Gabon as qualifiers for the 2017 Cup of Nations.
The remaining three places will be filled later Sunday with Benin, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Togo and Tunisia the contenders.
In matches that had no impact on qualification, Congo beat Guinea-Bissau 1-0 in Brazzaville and Zambia and Kenya drew 1-1 in Ndola in Group E and Malawi beat Swaziland 1-0 in Blantyre in Group L.
B. Faso 6 4 1 1 6 2 13
Uganda 6 4 1 1 6 2 13
Botswana 6 2 0 4 5 8 6
Comoros 6 1 0 5 2 7 3
Table of 2nd best placed teams
|1||D||Uganda (Q)||6||4||1||1||6||2||+4||13||Final tournament|
|5||B||Central African Republic||6||3||1||2||9||11||−2||10|
Kick off 5pm
Line up: Onyango; Wadada, Jjuko, Isinde, Ochaya; Aucho, Mawejje; Luwagga, Miya, Oloya; Massa (C)
Referee blows whistle
Kick-off – Uganda 0 Comoros 0
15′ 0-0 Uganda pressing, but Comoros containing.
30′ 0-0 Uganda has majority possession, but the goal still far away. Ochaya hits bar…but from offside position. Group leaders Burkina Faso just gone 1-0 up against Botswana. That is a race for the top spot in group, Uganda still qualifies with a win.
35′ 1-0 Uganda takes lead in 32nd minutes through Farouk Miya. GOAL
45′ Half time. Uganda goes into the break 1-0
00′ 2nd Half kicks off. Comoros go on an early offensive
60′ Uganda 1 Comoros 0. Emma Okwi in for Luwagga as Micho tries to raise the pressure
75′ Uganda steps up the pressure, piling up several corners but score remains 1-0. Uganda needs another goal to settle it in the last 25 mins.
90′ FULL time Uganda 1 Comoros 0… Reports indicate Burkina Faso being held 1-1 which means Uganda tops the group.
Congratulations the Cranes https://t.co/BTYan9RoVZ
— Kalusha Bwalya (@KalushaPBwalya) September 4, 2016
Uganda will play in the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time since 1978.
After several misses, Belgium-based Farouk Miya put Uganda Cranes ahead in the 35th minute in their make or break tie against Comoros at Mandela Stadium Namboole.
They held on to momentarily hold top spot in the group, before qualifying as one of the 2nd best teams. Burkina Faso were struggling 1-1 up and were given up to 10 minutes of extra time, from where they snatched the winner against Botswana.
Only one other second placed team can match the 13 points that Uganda has now.