• CHAN 2018 (Group B)
  • Uganda Cranes 0-0 Cote D’Ivoire
  • Zambia 1-1 Namibia
[/media-credit] Musitafa Mujjuzi cries no foul during the goal-less draw with Cote D’Ivoire on Monday night Credit: CAF Media

Uganda Cranes finished third in Group B at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in Morocco.

The development was confirmed after the barren draw with West Africans, Cote D’Ivoire in Marrakech on Monday night.

It was the final game for the two countries at the tournament that exclusively accommodates only home based players in the respective leagues on the African continent.

For the fourth time in a row, Uganda failed to progress past the group stage.

The positive this time round, was the balanced style of play, urgency and the thus the third place finish that guarantees the local federation at least $200,000 (over Shs. 720,000,000).

The $175,000 (Shs 630 million) is the quota allocated for every finalist at the tournament and the extra $25,000 (over Shs 90 million) for finishing third in the group.

[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes captain Bernard Muwanga attempts to block a cross from Noel Bi Kouame N’guessan. The Ivorian was voted man of the match Credit: CAF Media

During the game, few goal scoring opportunities were created by either sides.

After two minutes, Ivoirian dreadlocked Alphonse Yao had a free header fly over Isima Watenga’s bar off  a teasing cross from the left wing.

On 6 minutes, Yao easily went down in the area after a soft tackle from Isaac Muleme to earn a booking.

Five minutes later, it was Cote D’Ivoire again on the offensive, winning a free-kick 20 yards away from the Ugandan goal. The chance was not taken as Uganda which had two changes at the back with left back Aggrey Madoi and central defender Musitafa Mujjuzi coming in playing well.

Isaac Muleme takes on Cote D’Ivoire captain Hamed Diomande Credit: CAF Media

Uganda steadily clawed into the game. By the 20th minute mark, midfielder Ibrahim Sadam Juma who had some decent moments in the game won the first corner for the Cranes.

Isaac Muleme’s inswinger from the right caused some problems for the Cote D’Ivoire backline but they managed to keep the ball away.

Another midfielder Tadeo Lwanga, who plies his trade at Vipers Sports Club had a shot blocked from about 20 yards.

Defender Musitafa Mujjuzi pulled down danger man Noel Bi Kouame N’guessan to earn a caution of his own.

With a minute to a half hour mark, Lwanga shrugged off an injury concern following a knock on the ham string.

With about five minutes to the mandatory half time break, marauding right back Arnaud Koutouan Akassou had a decent overlap win Cote D’Ivoire a corner kick that Uganda defended well as the two sides returned to the locker rooms tied goal-less.

[/media-credit] Midfielder Ibrahim Sadam Juma attempts to tackle Essis Baudelaire Fulgence Aka (shirt 5) Credit: CAF Media

Uganda started the second stanza of the match on a much lively note.

A tempting corner kick by Sadam five minutes into the second half was quickly parried away by Asec Mimosa goalkeeper Abdoul Karim Cisse before Allan Kyambadde had a rebound blocked by a forest of bodies.

Two minutes later, Kyambadde had a great solo run only dented by the sky rocketed shot off his weaker left foot above the goal posts.

On the hour mark, KCCA midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba replaced the weary albeit effective legs of Kyambadde.

Under the next minute, Sadam forced a save from goalkeeper Cisse with a well timed low drive.

Wide man Milton Karisa whose pace was a handful for left back Willie Britto Dagou earned Uganda a corner not well utilized by Muleme.

Koutouan Akassou became the second Cote d’Ivoire player to get a booking for a wild lunge on Derrick Nsibambi.

With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Bright Stars captain Nelson Senkatuka replaced Nsibambi for Uganda’s second change on the night.

Senkatuka quickly got involved in the thick of action but it was little too late.

[/media-credit] Taddeo Lwanga closes danger man Alphonse Yao Kouame (11) Credit: CAF Media

The draw thus thus earned either sides a precious point but good enough for Uganda to finish third and pocket the $200,000.

Cote D’Ivoire departs Morocco with no goal scored and a deficit of three goals.

This was the second draw between the two countries since the Monday, 4th March 1974 match that ended 2-2 during an AFCON.

Meanwhile, Zambia ended as the Group B leaders after recovering from a goal down to hold Namibia one-all.

Ivorians Alphonse Yao Kouame (11) and Mamadou Diomande (19) react after a near miss Credit: CAF Media

Both Zambia and Namibia finish on 7 points but the former have a good goal difference.

This implies Zambia will face Sudan in the quarters finals as Namibia locks horns with hosts Morocco.

Team Line Ups:

Uganda XI: Isima Bin Abdul Rashid Watenga (G.K), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Aggrey Madoi, Musitafa Mujjuzi, Bernard Muwanga (Captain), Taddeo Lwanga, Milton Karisa, Juma Sadam Ibrahim, Allan Kyambadde (60’ Muzamiru Mutyaba), Derrick Nsibambi, (75’ Nelson Senkatuka) Isaac Muleme

Subs Not Used: Benjamin Ochan (G.K), Abubakar Kasule, Joseph Nsubuga, Moses Waiswa Ndhondhi, Rahmat Ssenfuka, Paul Mucureezi, Seif Batte

Injured: Muhammad Shaban, Keni Saidi (G.K)

Suspended: Timothy Dennis Awany

Head coach: Desabre Serge Louis Sebestien (France)

Cote D’Ivoire XI: Abdoul Karim Cisse (G.K), Willie Britto Dagou, Arnaud Koutouan Akassou, Coulibaly Wonlo, Essis Baudelaire Fulgence Aka, Hamed Diomande (Captain), Noel Bi Kouame N’guessan, Badie Anicet Gbagnon, Alphonse Yao Kouame, Romuald Cedric Kouassi Diallo, Mamadou Diomande

Subs: Zadi Ble (G.K), William Mel Togui, Brou Manasse N’goh, Sylla Banfa, Yao Kevi Romaric Konan, Mohamed Sanogo, Mamadou Sylla (G.K), Konan Raoul Yao, Diaby Souleymane, Roland Zan Bi Irie, Pacome Peodoh Zouzoua, Christian Alex Angbandji

Head coach: Ibrahima Kamara (France)

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

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