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Uganda ends Eritrea run to win 15th CECAFA Cup title

Uganda are CECAFA champs. PHOTO FUFA MEDIA

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP & URN |  Uganda beat Eritrea 3-0 to win the Cecafa Cup for the 15th time on Thursday and become East Africa’s most successful side in the regional competition.

Goals from Bright Anukani, Mustafa Kizza and Joel Madondo saw Johnathan McKinstry’s side triumph against the resurgent Eritrea who eliminated the defending champions Kenya in emphatic fashion on Tuesday.

But it was Eritrea who took the early initiative, and almost got an opener in the seventh minute when dangerman Robel Kidane was denied an open chance by the resilient Ugandan backline.

Uganda fought back and appeared to have taken the lead in the 11th minute when Allan Okello found the back of net but the referee ruled out his effort for offside.

The new champions, however, did not make a mistake when Anukani beautifully curled home the opener past Eritrean goalkeeper Solomun Haile Kibrom after 31 minute.

Two second half goals from Kizza and substitute Madondo wore down the spirited Eritrea side, who were featuring in their first ever final in the regional championships.

Kenya won the bronze medal after edging out arch-rivals Tanzania 2-1.

McKinstry’s first title

“I am happy that the boys have worked hard and won the trophy. It is a good tournament we have used to prepare for the 2020 Africa Nations Championship because we have won all the five games,” said Uganda Cranes coach Jonathan McKinstry after the game.

“We have worked as a team and deserve to win this trophy,” said Uganda Cranes skipper Halid Lwaliwa. Eritrea’s coach Efrem Haile Alemseghed said they lost to a good side.

Kenya finished third to win bronze after beating Tanzania 2-1 in an earlier match. Kenneth Muguna and Hassan Abdallah scored for the Harambee Stars of Kenya, while Gadiel Michael Kamagi converted a second half penalty for Tanzania.

Uganda Cranes also received the Fair Play Award, while Uganda’s Charles Lukwago was voted best goalkeeper. Kenya’s Oscar Wamalwa was best scorer with three goals, while Eritrea’s skipper Robel Micheal Tekle was voted Best player of the tournament.

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