Uganda Cranes’ journey to AFCON finals ends in Blantyre with 1 : 0 loss to Malawi.

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Uganda Cranes Captain Denis Onyango has missed out the chance to become the second captain to lead the Uganda cranes to two consecutive AFCON final tournaments after cranes lost to the Flames of Malawi.

The cranes started the match knowing that a draw would guarantee the team a safe passage to the cameroun next year but a strike from Baroka swallows forward Richard Mbulu in the 15th minute was enough to see off the Ugandans.

With the score at 0 : 0, interchange play between the Malawians enabled Banda to create space for a cross which was met by Richard Mbulu with Mukiibi failing to get on the ball first. And then it was 1 : 0 to the Flames.

Uganda had a quick response with Emma Okwi’s 18th minute shot deflected to the near post by the goalkeeper Kakhobwe.

Onyago made a fine save to deny Richard Mbulu a second goal in the 21st minute

Malawi coach Mwase was forced to make a 35th minute substitute with injured Ngalande getting off being replaced by Madinga while Uganda’s Gavin Kizito came in for the Injured Mukibi In the dying minutes of the first period..

Desperate situations called for desperate solutions for the Uganda Cranes. Coach Abdallah Mubiru just like in the Burkina Faso game, made a double substitution in the 55th minute. In came Tadeo Lwanga and Allan Okello for Mike Azira and Farouk Miya.

Malawi thought they had got a second goal when Onyango was left stranded but  God was on Uganda’s side. The shot hit the post in the 59th minute shortly before Yunus Sentamu came on for Oriti.

With frustration piling on the Ugandans, Kizito Gavin saw a yellow card in the 70th minute for a foul before Onyango made a double save from a counter attack from Malawi.

With the score still 1 : 0, Malawi knew that defense was the only option. They brought on a defender, Chembezi for Peter Banda in the 76th minute. 

Thereafter, delaying tactics began to be deployed by the Flames.

Apart from Oriti’s 56th missed header from Ochaya’s cross, the Cranes’ efforts looked second to the Malawians with no clear goal scoring chance created. 

The flames go through with Burkina Faso while neighbors South Sudan and Uganda go back to the drawing board.

Cranes starting eleven

Denis Onyango, Nico wadada, Joseph ochaya, Murushid Juuko, Ronald Mukibi, Mike Azira, Ibrahim Orit, Farouk Miya, Mustafa Kizza, Emma Okwi

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Tonny Saks

Unbelievable. I thought UG would definitely make it this time with ease after the first few results.