A double from captain Emmauel Okwi ensured that the champions collect six points and their game against Sudan will determine Group winners
By Tim Musungu,
Defending champions Uganda Cranes powered into the quarter-finals of the GOtv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup after a well earned 3-0 win over Eritrea at the City Stadium on Monday.
Gor Mahia striker Danny Sserunkuma provided a great performance for the Cranes, being involved in all the three goals. The Cranes sought to bury the match as early as possible and it only took them nine minutes to grab the first goal.
Captain Emmanuel Okwi, returning after missing the Group opener with illness, took the first goal calmly after converting Sserunkuma’s pass. Okwi, who plies his trade in Tunisia, had a chance to double his tally in the 15th minute but Somali goalie Abdulahi Abdurahman saved off his effort with Sserunkuma being flagged offside after picking up the rebound.
Uganda scored the second on 17 minutes from the penalty spot after Sserunkuma was floored inside the box by Suarfael Tesfamekal. Striker Hamisi ‘Diego’ Kiiza sent the keeper the wrong way to take Uganda into the lead.
The Cranes kept the pressure going and they enjoyed passing the ball around. They sealed the deal on 39 minutes, again Okwi tapping in a cross from Sserunkuma. Cranes had another chance to extend the lead in the 43rd minute, the Somali keeper saving off Sserunkuma’s shot while Hamisi Kiiza failed to grab his brace on 45 minutes, his header from Brian Majwega’s corner hitting the upright.
Eritrea however, came back spirited in the second half as they sought to score a consolation. Serak Beyene had an effort going wide on the hour mark while Muner Ahmed saw his effort saved by the Ugandan keeper on a one on one situation.
Five minutes to the final whistle Sserunkuma came close to sealing his superb performance with a goal but his left footed shot rattled the cross bar.
Uganda now have six points from two matches and their game against Sudan will determine the winner of the Group. Coach Milutin Sredjovic is keen to beat Sudan and take the leader’s spot in order to get a weaker team in the quarters.
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