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CECAFA: Uganda out with technical scores

Hard Luck for Uganda Cranes

The Uganda Cranes bowed out of this year’s GO-TV CECAFA Challenge Cup on Saturday afternoon on a 3-2 spot kick loss following a 2-all draw in the normal time but left the coastal town of Mombasa with a reason to smile.

It was such a painful early exit for the defending champions but technically the country returned home with a hope for a bright future. The biggest achievement of the Cranes’ Serbian born coach Sredejovic ‘Milutin’ Micho in this tournament was the discovery of new potential talents that will be of great use to Uganda in the subsequent competitions.

Tusker’s Khalid Awucho

Khalid Aucho playing for Tusker FC in the Kenyan Premier League was the biggest catch as he featured for the national team. Aucho is a solid confident midfielder on the pitch and his role in this team was obviously timely and instrumental. Despite being his first time, the player featured in all the four games played and played to the last whistle.

Aucho was not only a composed midfielder but an attack-minded player and he made several contributions in most build-ups that resulted into some of the Cranes goals. He scored a crucial goal against Sudan that took Uganda on top of group ‘C’ table. The two teams had tied at four points with same number of goals scored and conceded.

Hopefully, Aucho will be given a chance to continue proving himself in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

Classic Benjamin Ochan

Victoria University goal keeper Benjamin Ochan had an impressive performance and his presence on this squad helped him acquire more confidence and experience at the international scene.

He conceded no goal throughout the group stages as Uganda edged Rwanda 1-0 in their opening fixture, Eritrea 3-0 and Sudan 1-0. On the fateful day, Ochan also saved Samata Mbwana’s penalty before Uganda lost to Tanzania on spot kicks.

If given more exposure, there is no doubt that Ochan will make it into the National ‘A’ team.

Confident Joseph Mpuga

Joseph Mpuga was making his first appearance on the Cranes squad and travelled to Nairobi as a substitute behind Savio Kabugo. His luck however came when Kabugo had a malaria attack just minutes before their engagement against Sudan. Micho immediately handed him a chance which he utilized perfectly.

Mpuga commanded the defense with confidence stopping the Sudanese dangerous strikers like Salah Ibrahim and Mohammed Tahir. Salah scored against Rwanda, Eritrea and Ethiopia but had no way through the Ugandan solid defense.

In the quarter final match against Tanzania, Mpuga was a starter and netted Uganda’s equalizer to level it at 2-2.His height and brilliance on ball is his big strength that can earn him more calls if keeps focused.

Welcome back Uganda Cranes but let’s keep focused towards CHAN competitions due in South Africa in January next year.

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