Abdallah Mubiru, Police FC Coach [Photo: Aisha Nakato]

Abdallah Mubiru will be scripted in Uganda’s football history books for being the engineer behind Uganda Cranes’ qualification to the Championship of Africa Nations (Chan) 2020 finals in Cameroon.

Uganda Cranes eliminated Somalia and Burundi in four matches to book their ticket once again for the final tournament, the fifth successive time.

The main coach in charge of the four games has been Mubiru, himself a former Uganda Cranes international who has worked closely with another legend, Charles Livingstone Mbabazi and Sadiq Wassa (goalkeeping coach), among others.

Mubiru hinted on the value of teamwork as a push factor for the team’s qualification for the continental showpiece.

Addressing the media moments after the game hinted on the collective efforts right from the players, technical team, media, fans and the federation.

Abdallah Mubiru

First and foremost, we thank the Almighty God for enabling us reach this far. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for the positivity. From FUFA, the players, the fans, fellow coaches to the media, we were all focused and targeted one goal.

Abdallah Mubiru

Mubiru mastered minded a fresh philosophy in the style of play, building play from the backline as the team plots to attack the final third.

We expected such a performance. Right from the first game (in Bujumbura against Burundi), we were very open because we wanted to kill off the game away. We took a risk because we wanted goals. We had an advantage of three goals. In the return leg, the opponents this time were very compact. Allan Okello and Mike Mutyaba had to pick the balls deep from midfield. The most important element in the game today was to qualify. We started with three goals and had to build on that advantage.

Abdallah Mubiru
Striker Fahad Bayo celebrates the opening goal against Burundi on Saturday Credit: Courtesy

Vipers’ Fahad Bayo, Wakiso Giants Viane Ssekajugo and KCCA’s Allan Okello scored the goals that inspired Uganda Cranes to a 3-0 home victory to make 6-0 on aggregate.

During the first leg, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Ssekajugo and Mustapha Kizza were on target in Bujumbura.

For the return leg, Muzamiru Mutyaba missed the game through injury and Police’s Yusuf Ssozi took over.

Ssekajugo was relegated to the bench to push Mike Mutyaba in the starting eleven.

Mubiru and the technical team called for all the three changes during the return leg at Lugogo.

Proline youngster Bright Anukani replaced Shafiq Kagimu 10 minutes into the second stanza.

Mike Mutyaba was rested for Ssekajugo after 65 minutes and the first goal scorer Bayo paved way for fellow Vipers’ club-mate Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma.

Uganda has now qualified for the fifth consecutive Chan finals following earlier successes in 2011 (Sudan), South Africa (2014), Rwanda (2016) and lately Morocco (2018).

Chan is a tournament exclusively played by the locally based players in the various domestic African leagues.

Uganda Cranes XI Credit: Courtesy

Uganda Cranes XI Vs Burundi: Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustapha Kizza, Halid Lwaliwa (Captain), John Revita, Yusuf Ssozi, Nicholas Kasozi, Allan Okello, Fahad Bayo (78’ Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma), Mike Mutyaba (65’ Viane Ssekajugo), Shafiq Kagimu (55’ Bright Anukani)

Substitutes Not Used: James Alitho (G.K), Musitafa Mujuzi,, Allan Kayiwa, Saidi Kyeyune

David Isabirye

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

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