Isaac Muleme in action for Uganda at the 2018 CHAN tournament Credit: CAF Media

CHAN 2018 (Group B):

  • Namibia Brave Warriors 1-0 Uganda Cranes
  • Zambia 2-0 Cote D’Ivoire
[/media-credit] Isaac Muleme in action against Namibia Credit: CAF Media

A ten man Uganda Cranes outfit suffered yet another heart break at the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament following a late slip up to Namibia Warriors on Thursday night during the 1-0 Group B loss in Marrakech.

Second half substitute Panduleni Nekundi who had replaced Junias Theophilus 13 minutes into the second half was the hero with the lone strike on the chilly night.

Nekundi struck with a sublime left footed strike past Vipers’ goalkeeper Isma Rashid Watenga in the second minute of added time.

The decisive moment of the game arrived after nervousness in the Cranes’ back-line.

Before the strike, the game looked destined for a barren draw until suspect positioning at the Ugandan defence cost the CECAFA giants dear.

[/media-credit] Milton Karisa’s pace troubled the Namibians Credit: CAF Media

Uganda got close to breaking the deadlock on numerous occasions but Derrick Nsibambi and Allan Kyambadde were unlucky on several occassions.

Uganda Cranes head coach Sebestien Desabre made one change to the starting team with goalie Watenge returning to the posts in favour of Benjamin Ochan who had started in the opening game against Zambia that Cranes lost 3-1.

Right winger Milton Karisa looked lively throughout the match, running over the opposition and delivering pin point crosses that troubled the Warriors backline.

Uganda Cranes lost defender Timothy Denis Awanyi after a red card for a professional foul inside the last 15 minutes.

The technical team for Uganda called for all the three changes in the game.

Midfielder Ibrahim Sadam Juma paved way for fellow KCCA midfielder Paul Mucureezi 11 minutes into the second half.

Bright Stars captain Nelson Senkatuka replaced SC Villa Jogoo play maker Allan Kyambadde with 16 minutes left on the clock .

The final change witnessed Bright Stars wide man Sheif Batte come in for KCCA creative midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba in the last five minutes.

Midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba dribbles the ball Credit: CAF Media

Like Cote D’Ivoire who had earlier lost 2-0 to Zambia, Uganda bows out of the tournament despite a dead rubber affair next week with the West Africans (Cote D’Ivoire) in their respective last group match.

This implies, Zambia and Namibia who will face off in Casablanca next week have already qualified to the quarter final stage.

Uganda fell 3-1 to Zambia and Namibia also required a similar late goal to down Cote D’Ivoire during the first Group B matches.

Now, in four competitions at CHAN, Uganda has never progressed past the group stages.

Uganda Cranes XI: Isma Watenga (GK), Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Dennis Timothy Awanyi, Bernard Muwanga (C), Taddeo Lwanga, Milton Karisa, Muzamir Mutyaba (85′ Sheif Batte), Derrick Nsibambi, Ibrahim Sadam Juma (56′ Paul Mucureezi), Allan Kyambadde (74′ Nelson Senkatuka)

Subs Not Used: Saidi Keni (G.K), Benjamin Ochan (G.K), Aggrey Madoi, Rahmat Senfuka, Joseph Nsubuga, Mustapha Mujjuzi, Shaban Muhammed, Mubarak Kasule, Moses Waiswa

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

Join the Conversation


  1. The slow European style of play is doing the national team no favors, a fast paced offence should react though the wings that allows the team to balance on defense and on offence it allow the ball carrier to find the open man with a cross in the last third. all in all the team is too slow and unbalanced.

    1. The team was poorly prepared and Desabre is not to blame. Ideally, FUFA should have let Basena coach the tournament but I understand why they would rather rip the bandaid off let Desabre take over right away.

  2. Ugandans used to castigate Micho for playing what they called ‘defensive’ football. They used to say Micho does not field Muzamir Mutyaba and so forth. Now they got a new coach who apparently plays ‘attacking’ football. I will say, you reap what you sow’.
    I will agree the team plays entertaining football but you cant have your cake and eat it. You should allow the transition from the so-called defensive football to attacking football. The new coach has to learn his team and this will take some time mainly because Ugandan players are not technically good themselves.
    That said, I wonder why Timothy Awany was still fielded given the mistakes he made in the Zamiba game. Joseph Nsubuga could as well have played with Bernard Muwanga since they have ever done so at SC Villa. I think the Cranes technical team could have decided to use this tournament for the transition from the Micho era to Desabre. So Desabre himself was wrong to put this team under pressure by saying the team had come to vie for the CHAN trophy.

  3. We are in trouble… Attacking football without natural finishers upfront is gonna be a nightmare. No wonder we get red cards all the time so far. Hope we don’t lose our AFCON lead in group

    1. Every player should be able to score goals. Jimmy Kirunda, Tom Lwanga, John Latigo, Paul Hasule, Ibrahim Sekagya and many others were defenders that regularly scored goals. Recently even the Cranes midfielders are not scoring. The forwards get poor service if at all.

      The fix is easy but it will take a change in mindset at club and youth level.
      The Cranes defenders should score goals and the attackers should defend too.

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