The Cranes once again beat Rwanda’s Amavubi in the finals to lift this year’s CECAFA Challenge Cup in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday.

The win came courtesy of a 14th minute strike by prodigal son Ceaser Okhuti off Denis Okot cross.

Kawowo Sports’ Ismael Kiyonga highlights the eight talking points from Uganda’s triumph.

Uganda confirm status as CECAFA region Kings

By winning a record 14th title, Uganda Cranes elegantly made a point and confirmed their status as the Kings of the region.

The recent released FIFA rankings put Uganda at 63rd in the world and remain the highest ranked nation in the region thus the win just confirmed this.

Besides, even with an experimental squad that had not more than three players to have played at the tournament before, they showed the nation is far much better as compared to others in the region.

History repeats itself

Four of Uganda Cranes 14 titles have come after beating Rwanda in the finals. The first of that came in 2003, then 2009, 2011 and now 2015.

This implies that 28% of the trophies The Cranes have won came after beating Amavubi the finals.

Cranes character and belief on show

The tournament went a big step in proving how much belief and character The Cranes have at the moment.

The Cranes lost 2-0 to Kenya on day one which prompted many to think they are not good enough to go far but they never lost hope.

Cranes jinx on Ethiopian soil broken

For the first time in the tournament history, Uganda Cranes lifted the trophy on Ethiopian soil after failure on three previous attempts.

In 1987, they lost at the semi-finals to the hosts 3-0 and finished 3rd at after beating Kenya 3-1 in the 3rd place play off.

They failed to reach the last four at the 2004 edition and were again losing semi-finalists in 2006 in Ethiopia.

On that occasion, they finished fourth after losing to Rwanda 4-2 on penalties in the classification fixture following a goalless draw.

The future looks bright but only…

When Micho named his team for duty, not many expected to come home victorious given the inexperience at international level.

True, the team isn’t necessary young as many want to believe but it was the first major tournament for 70% of the members on it.

Bar, Isaac Muleme, Richard Kasagga, Ceaser Okhuti, Ivan Ntege and Joseph Ochaya, no other player had ever been at such a big tournament but they approached every game without fear.

If well-handled and kept together, the future looks bright but only just given the history of how Ugandan teams vanish.

There isn’t much quality difference in Ugandan footballers

One pundit argued after Cranes beat Sudan to qualify for CHAN – Any set of players chosen from Uganda premier league would have done it.

Although I don’t wholly agree with him, truth is that there is just a slight difference in quality of Ugandan players.

Take an example, Micho used all his 20 players but whoever played, the team still played well bar the first game against Kenya.

Richard Kasagga back to his best

Since his return from Lebanon, Richard Kasagga had never been the same player he was before but this year’s tournament, he looked the real deal.

The Cranes never conceded with him at the back. The URA FC man looked assured, calm and composed even in tight games like the semi-final against Ethiopia.

If he can only keep or up the performance, expect him to walk straight back into the senior team and become a mainstay.

Muzamiru Mutyaba must arrest inconsistence

Without doubt, Mutyaba was the most gifted midfielder on the team but he drifted in and out of games.

He was one player expected to be the creative spark in the middle given his excellent touch, vision and passing.

He can be unstoppable on his day and with the country yet to get a consistent top performer in the creative midfield role or at least the number 10; Mutyaba can ably fill the void if he is coherent. 

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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