2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup:

Final: Uganda Cranes 3-0 Eritrea

Third place play off: Tanzania 1-2 Kenya

Since time immemorial, the Uganda national football team (Uganda Cranes) has remained a force to reckon with in the Eastern and Central Africa zone.

For the umpteenth time, Uganda Cranes lifted the overall trophy of the regional’s binding tournament, CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, arguably the oldest championship on the African continent played since 1926.

This was after overcoming Eritrea 3-0 in a coloruful finale watched by a capacity passionate crowd at the Star Times Stadium in Lugogo, Kampala.

Proline star player Bright Anukani, KCCA’s left back Mustafa Kizza and Busoga United forward Joel Madondo scored the goals that elevated Uganda Cranes to yet another celebration on the podium.

Bright Anukani celebrates the opening goal for Uganda Cranes Credit: John Batanudde

Anukani curled home the opener after 31 minutes past goalkeeper Solomun Haile Kibrom as the hosts took a slim half time lead.

Two second half goals from Kizza and a late strike from substitute Madondo winded down the business end of the final also watched by the newly elected CECAFA president Waria Karia amidst other officials from the Uganda Government and regional football bodies.

Kizza’s strike was a well tapped effort following a well laid ball from KCCA club-mate Allan Okello with a dummy from Fahad Bayo.

Mustafa Kizza takes on Solomon Abel Okbay of Eritrea. Kizza scored the second goal

With virtually two minutes to end the game, Madondo combined well with fellow substitute Ben Ocen with a cool finish off a sublime assist from the left flank.

Uganda has now won 15 titles since the tourney changed identity to the Senior Challenge Cup.

Overall, there are 40 titles since the tournament previously known as Gossage cup kicked off in 1926.

Kenya took bronze medals after overcoming Tanzania 2-1 in the earlier kick off, the third place play off.

Kenneth Muguna and Hassan Abdallah scored for Kenya Harambee Stars in the first half before a late penalty from Michael Gadiel Kamagi gave the game a worthy tense finish under scorching sunny conditions.

Uganda Captain Halid Lwaliwa receives the CECAFA Trophy from Minister of state for Primary Education RoseMary Sseninde

Individual Accolades:

Most Valuable Player (MVP): Robel Teklemichael (Eritrea)

Best Goalkeeper: Charles Lukwago (Uganda)

Top Scorer: Oscar Wamalwa (Kenya) – Three goals

Fair-Play Award: Uganda Cranes

Uganda’s Victories (As Gossage Cup and Senior Challenge Cup):

1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973,1976, 1977, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019

Members of the Uganda Cranes Winning Team for the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup:

Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA ), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume)

Other Players:  Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA), John Revita (KCCA FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Shafiq Kagimu (URA), Bright Anukani (Proline), Allan Okello (KCCA), Joachim Ojera (URA), Fahad Bayo (Vipers), Viane Sekajugo (Wakiso Giants), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline), Paul Mbowa (URA), Karim Watambala (Vipers ), Nicolas Kasozi (KCCA), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA), Steven Mukwala (Maroons), Joel Madondo (Busoga United) Ben Ocen (Police)

Officials: Johnathan McKinstry (Head coach), Abdallah Mubiru (First Assistant), Charles Livingstone Mbabazi (Second Assistant),Fred Kajoba Kisitu (Goalkeepers’ coach), Alexander McCarthy (Trainer), Emmanuel Nakabago (Team Doctor), Geofrey Massa (Team manager), Kasirye (Media Officer)

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

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