Burundi beat Cranes to top group
Amissi Cedric’s lone strike condemned Uganda to their first Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup defeat as Burundi beat the Cranes 1-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
Uganda started on the back foot with Burundi dominating the first 20 minutes.
And Bobby Williamson’s men could have gone behind as early as the third minute when Amissi’s rasping shot rattled the crossbar with Robert Odongkara, starting in place of the ill Abel Dhaira, beaten.
Seventeen minutes later Uganda had their first chance but Emmanuel Okwi’s over elaboration with only goalkeeper Vladimir Niyonkuru to beat put paid their best opportunity.
Amissi was a handful throughout the first half, his fierce free kick on the edge of the 18-yard-area hitting Odongkara in the nose and the Ugandan goalkeeper had to be at his fastest to keep out the rebound.
But from the resultant corner and with the injured Odongkara trying to recover momentum, Amisssi received the ball from a short corner.
The striker sweetly curled it in and off the underside of the cross bar to the St George goalkeeper’s back and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead, five minutes from half time.
Dan Wagaluka on the right was kept quiet while Mike Mutyaba on the left had no impact. Andy Mwesigwa’s absence was visible in the central defence manned by Isaac Isinde and Henry Kalungi.
They were not helped by Musa Mudde and Patrick Ochan in the middle who kept giving the ball away easily.
The Cranes needed a quick response in the second half to counter the tenacious Burundians. But when Mike Sserumaga was released into the area, his left foot strike lacked venom.
Something had to give. Bobby introduced Tonny Mawejje for the ineffective Ochan, Moses Oloya for the totally subdued Wagaluka, and Sula Matovu for fizzled out Mike Mutyaba as the Cranes tried to push forward.
Matovu released Okwi but the impressive Niyonkuru stopped him in his tracks. Fwady Ndayisenga and Pierre Kwizera ran the midfield and could have gone on the score sheet several times but for some desperate defending from the Cranes and goalposts.
Both sides are into the quarter finals but Burundi now top Group B on seven points, with Uganda second on six.