Third Place Play off Match:
- Uganda 2-1 Burundi
- Kenya 2 (3) – 2 (2) Zanzibar
Uganda Cranes recovered from a goal down to edge Burundi 2-1 in the third place playoff match at the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
KCCA FC midfielder Ibrahim Sadam Juma was the hero with a well taken brace.
Pierre Kwizera gave Burundi the lead on 23 minutes for the half time 1-0 lead after a school boy error from goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan.
The bearded KCCA goalkeeper found himself at fault when he let Kwizera’s curling free-kick slip through fingers into the back of the net as the Cranes painfully fell a goal down.
The Cranes were lucky not to have conceded the second as only the goal post came to their rescue.
Burly striker Fiston Abdoul Razak shrugged off a challenge from captain Bernard Muwanga, he broke down the left flank but his right out-foot shot hit the upright. Striker Laudit Mavugo was unable to extend their lead from the rebound as lady luck smiled onto Moses Basena’s charges.
Three minutes into the second half, Uganda Cranes equalized through Sadam’s first goal on the evening. Sadam was well positioned to volley home Nelson Senkatuka’s cross inside the goal area as CECAFA’s record holders found the equalizer.
He then struck home the winner via a well converted free-kick with a quarter of an hour left on the clock.
Substitute Allan Kateregga could have added the third in the final five minutes but his attempt was cleared by the Burundi back line.
This was the second time that Burundi faced Uganda at the 2017 CECAFA championship following the earlier goal-less stalemate during a Group B game at the Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega.
Uganda thus finished third at the championship that they have won a record 14 titles.
This was the 7th time that Uganda took bronze at Africa’s oldest football competition.
It is also the most times that a country has finished 3rd at the regional championship since 1926 (Kenya follows with six third place finishes).
Uganda previously finished third in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1991, 2007 and 2010.
The Cranes return home on Monday with Kshs 1M as consolation.
Meanwhile, hosts Kenya beat islanders Zanzibar 3-2 in post match penalties to win their seventh CECAFA trophy.
Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi saved 3 kicks from the penalty spot to help the Harambee Stars to win on home turf.
Normal time ended all square tied at 2 goals apiece.
Kenya has been successful in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2013 and now 2017.
This year, Libya was the only invited country as the other – Zimbabwe pulled out at the 11th hour citing insecurity in Kenya after post election violence tugged the country.