NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Uganda Cranes ended their 38-year wait to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations after beating visitors Comoros 1-0 at a packed Nelson Mandela Namboole Stadium on Sunday.
Farouk Miya scored the all important goal in the 35th minute to ensure Uganda finished second of Group D on 13 points and book a ticket to Gabon as one of the two best runners-up.
In the other Group D match, Burkina Faso beat Botswana 2-1 to top the Pool on 13 points, same as Uganda but with a better head-to-head record and qualify for the Gabon showpiece.
Creative midfielder Farouk Miya was the hero after he lashed into the net from close range to give the Cranes victory and ensure that Uganda will feature at the continental showpiece for the first time since 1978.
Miya started the move in midfield powering forward before seeing his effort saved by the goalkeeper. Uganda however worked the ball back into the box and the Standard Liege playmaker made no mistake to send thousands of fans in frenzy.
Uganda started the much anticipated tie on a fast paced offensive display showing intent from the onset and it was indeed Isaac Isinde whose header was saved much to the chagrin of the home fans.
Tonny Mawejje then cut through the midfield before sending a long shot on target that was saved by the visiting goalkeeper.
In the 30th minute, Miya then sent a through pass to Oloya who placed a well timed cross to Massa but the latter missed it by inches.
Massa then got to the end of an Ochaya cross from the left flank but his header forced a brilliant save from the visiting custodian who was clearly having a busy day in the office.
In the second half, Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic introduced Emma Okwi for more attacking power but Comoros was solid enough to stay compact.
Uganda dominated possession and came close four times but Massa, Miya and Oloya were wasteful in front of goal.