MACHAKOS, Kenya, Dec 17- Saddam Juma’s sumptuous second half brace saw defending champions Uganda Cranes come from behind to beat Burundi 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon to claim the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup bronze.
Uganda goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan’s butter fingers had given Burundi the lead in the first half, but a sublime volley and a well taken freekick by Juma in the second half handed the Cranes a consolation prize for their efforts.
Burundi broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, Ochan spilling Pierre Kwizera’s curling freekick from the right when he seemed to have had a good grip of the ball.
It had been a balanced start to the match, each team trying to open up for an attacking opportunity, but Kwizera’s freekick was the first shot on target in the game.
Burundi should have doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Shabaan Ahmed’s dipping cross from the left was met by Laudit Mavugo at the far post, but the Tanzanian based striker headed wide.
Three minutes to half time, Abdul Razak Fiston took on a daunting run on the left, evading his markers to break through to the edge of the box before releasing a shot from the outside of his foot which bounced against the crossbar.
In the second half Uganda came back with more purpose and they needed just four minutes to get back on level terms.
Shabaan volleyed the ball home from the edge of the six yard box after tournament top scorer Derrick Nsibambi nodded the ball down for him from a Geoffrey Madoi cross from the left.
In the 55th minute, Nsibambi should have had his fifth goal of the tournament but his effort from a tight angle after beating the keeper trickled across the face of goal.
Uganda continued to press and in the 67th minute, Milton karisa who had just come on as a second half substitute came close with a flicking header unmarked from inside the box after Nsibambi cited his run into the box.
They finally got the goal five minute later when Shabaan took on the responsibility after being fouled at the edge of the box, curling a wonderful freekick over the wall and leaving the Burundi keeper dazed.
They should have had more goals through Allan Katterega and Karisa, bit they were thwarted.