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Uganda Qualify for Second Successive AFCON Final with Win Over Cape Verde

Uganda have booked a ticket to Cameroon with one game to spare after beating Cape Verde 1-0 at the Mandela National Stadium

The Uganda Cranes have booked a ticket to Cameroon with one game to spare after beating Cape Verde 1-0 at the Mandela National Stadium.

KCCA forward Patrick Kaddu scored the late goal in the 77th minute to seal the win for Uganda who needed just a draw to qualify.

The Cranes were a fairly better side in the first half with Patrick Kaddu and Derrick Nsibambi continuously tormenting the visitors’ defense, but the goalkeeper was up to the task.

The first half ended goalless with Uganda having an upper hand, but a tweak in tactics saw a determined Cape Verde create panic within the Cranes defense after the break.

Cape Verde came the closest after the break when substitute Heldon Ramos rounded Onyango but Uganda’s defender Murushid Jjuuko raced back to clear the ball off the line.

The goal that separated the two sides finally came in the 77th minute. KCCA forward Patrick Kaddu’s jumped highest to turn in a Godfrey Walusimbi cross with a glancing header.

The goal was received by the home fans with as much jubilation as relief after spells of Cape Verde attacks had kept them on their toes.

Despite the tensions, the goal changed the intensity of the game, with Uganda unleashing a continuous wave of attacks. They came close on a number of occasions, but Miya twice failed to hit the target from point-blank range.

The Cranes, who had spent 40 years failing to qualify for the Nations Cup, have this year proved they have the quality to face-off with Africa’s big boys. The win ensured they would be at successive AFCON finals for the first time since the ’74, ’76 and ’78 editions.

This is also monumental for Uganda Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre, who has led a country to the Nations Cup less than a year in his first role as a National team boss.

“I’m very happy we’ve reached our target of qualifying with one match left,” said the Frenchman, “I’m very happy for my boys, their commitment. We are a family.”

“I also want to thank the fans and the federation. It’s been a collective effort.”

Desabre’s Cranes have been solid, worked as a unit and currently hold the best defensive record throughout the qualification campaign.

Statistically, Uganda’s Denis Onyango’s clean sheet against Cape Verde makes him the only keeper on the continent yet to concede.

Unbeaten and boasting with clean sheets in all games played, Uganda are sitted comfortably at the top of the pile at 13 points with one game to play.

Second-placed Tanzania is seven points behind ahead of their clash with bottom side Lesotho (two points) on Sunday.

A win for Tanzania means the East African nation will also qualify for their second ever Nations Cup tournament, the first since 1980.

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