The Ugandan national football team, who are also known as the Cranes, have qualified for the 2017 African Cup of nations (AFCON) for the first time in 39 years.
Uganda’s qualification for the AFCON comes on the heels of their defeat of Comoros who have never qualified for the AFCON finals. The Cranes secured a 1-0 win at the Namboole stadium in Uganda.
Uganda’s qualification for the AFCON was made possible by the Belgium-based striker, Farouk Miya’s goal in the 34th minute. Miya’s vital goal sent the entire stadium into loud cries of excitement which was evident until the last minute, especially as their opponents were unable to secure a reply goal.
Besides Miya’s crucial goal, the crane’s defence did a good job by preventing the Comoros players from equalising. Consequently, the Ugandan national team finished as the best runner-up in Group D with 13 points. This makes it Uganda’s first qualification for the AFCON since 1978.
The stallions of Burkina Faso also in Group D qualified for the AFCON after defeating the Zebras of Botswana with a 2-1 win at the Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou on Sunday. The Burkina Faso-Botswana game was heated as it saw players sent off the pitch. Botswanan player, Lesego Galenamotlhale was sent off on 61 minutes and Kabelo Dambe on 88 minutes. Burkinabe player, Steeve Yago was also given a red card. After Burkina Faso’s first goal, the Zebras equalised but with Dambe’s exit, the team was destabilised.
However, Banou Diawara still managed to score for the Stallions of Burkina Faso despite being down to ten men, giving them their desired 3 points.
Uganda and Burkina Faso finished with 13 points, but Burkina Faso’s impressive record against the Cranes put them at the top of the table
The AFCON will hold in 2017 in Gabon.