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Date: 24 September 2017

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Uganda Cranes win 13th Cecafa Cup title

[Posted 10 Dec 2012]
[By Charles Malingha]
Uganda Cranes win 13th Cecafa Cup title

Uganda Cranes were crowned 13 time Cecafa regional champions on Saturday after defeating their regional rivals Kenya 2-1 at Mandela National Staduim in Kampal

Two goals, both clearly own goals according to television replays, delivered a 2-1 victory over Kenya as the annual two-week tournament ended with a 10-minute fireworks display.

The first, a Robert Ssentongo effort, attempting to square the ball for Joseph Ochaya, was turned in by Anthony ’Modo’ Kimani on 28 minutes.

Somehow, Ssentongo got awarded the goal. That gave him the top scorers’ award ahead of the Tanzanian pair of John Bocco and Mrisho Ngassa. Both finished on five, the same tally Ssentongo got. Kenya Harambee Stars’ equalizer was clearly Modo’s own goal.

Anthony Kimani Nienga struck in 87th minute after Paul Were ran down the left flank and set him up. It is the only goal Uganda conceded in a fortnight while scoring 13 for a successful home title defence.

"We have always been very unlucky beyond this region if people cannot see that there is something wrong with them," coach Bobby Williamson said after his fourth crown in five years. 

The game was headed for extra time and probably, the lottery of penalties. Kenya, the second most successful team in Cecafa with five titles, ensured that under 20,000 fans didn’t have to wait that long. 

They gave away a free kick on the edge of the area. Left-back Godfrey Walusimbi floated it in and as soon as it crossed the line, midfielder Geoffrey ’Baba’ Kizito ran away celebrating.

Later, images confirmed defender Joackins Otieno Atudo got the vital touch at the stroke of regulation time. The biggest crowd of the event at the 42, 000- capacity stadium had every reason to celebrate.

It wasn’t a spectacular game for either finalist in what was a repeat of the opener which Uganda won 1-0 with Kizito scoring.

Two early efforts from Emmanuel Okwi, who limped off again for a second game in a row during the second half, sent the warning signals to the Kenyans inside the first 20 minutes.

The ’visitors’ waited until the 24th to trouble goalkeeper Hamza Muwonge. Okwi put the ball in the back of the net only for linesman to disallow it before the break.

It was "a hand of shame" and Okwi was booked. Stars dominated the second period. Humphrey Mieno was a knight in the midfield and it was only fitting that their fans applauded them at the end of the game.

"We have a good team that played well, I am complaining about the referee because he was not doing his job well. All the 50-50s went one way," said James Nandwa, the Kenya stand-in coach.

Uganda didn’t need to be exceptional to win another Cecafa title but the craving that is Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification remains the ultimate.

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