Uganda beat Burundi to progress to the CHAN 2020 finals that will be held in Cameroon for a fifth consecutive time having made the finals in 2011, 2014, 2016 and most recently 2018.
But how has Uganda previously performed at the local based players’ tournament having featured for the first time in 2011?
The 2011 CHAN tournament was the second edition of the competition. This tournament had a number of changes most notably, the increment in the number of participating teams from 8 to 16. This year, Uganda joined the list of debutants who made it to Sudan.
The games were played between 4th and 26 of February with Tunisia coming out on top with their first ever title after beating Angola in finals 3-0.
Uganda were placed in group A with hosts Sudan, Gabon and Algeria.
On 5th February Uganda its first match against Algeria in Khartoum and lost to Algeria 2-0.
On the 8th of February Uganda faced the host Sudan and lost their secnd group game 1-0 before losing the third 2-1 on 12th against Gabon.
On this day, Saddam Juma scored Uganda’s first and only goal of the tournament in the 88th minute.
Uganda came last in the group with no point and -4 goal difference.
Hosts Sudan and Algeria qualified to the knock-out stages.
Having failed to make it out of the group stages in 2011, the 2014 CHAN was meant to serve as Uganda’ redeemer after qualifying for the 2nd straight year.
Uganda’s first tournament left lessons for the Cranes to learn and the second time would probably define a moment of a better feat. But did it?
The 2014 Tournament was played from the 11th January to 1st February in South Africa.
Originally the tournament was supposed to be hosted by Libya. A blessing in disguise should be the best description for Libya’situation as failing to host the tournament did not stop them from winning their first title.
Uganda was pit in group B with Morocco, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.
Uganda played their first game on 12th January against Burkina Faso picking up their very first win at the tournament with a 2-1. All the goals scored by Yunus Ssentamu 15th and 73rd min respectively.
Zimbabwe came next with a goalless draw and it was Morocco who dented the Cranes Hope’s of making past the group stages
A 3-1 defeat only left the East African country with the 3 goals recorded at the tournament as the biggest achievement. Yunus ssentamu had scored all the 3.
The qualified teams in group B, qualified with only 5 pints. Uganda finishing with 4 only meant they came close but not enough to make it.
Another year that ended in the group stages.
The 4th edition of the CHAN tournament came in 2016 and was hosted by Rwanda from 16th January to 7th February.
DR Congo were the champions winning a second title having won in 2009 edition – they remain the record winners of the tournament with 2 titles out of the 5 tournaments held so far.
Uganda was in group D with Mali, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Uganda played against Mali ofirst on 19th January managing a 2-2 draw with goals from Joseph ochaya and Faruku Miya from the penalty spot in the 11th and 40th minutes respectively.
The second game was a last minute 1-0 loss to Zambia before a 1-all draw against Zimbabwe, with Geoffrey Sserunkuma getting on the mark in the 90+3 minute.
Uganda finished third in the group in the group with only 1 point and -2 goals. Zambia and mali qualified from group D.
A third straight year ended in the group stages.
A 4th straight qualification to the finals came in 2018. In February 2016 Kenya were announced as the host nation but in September 2017 they were stripped of the rights to host the tournament and Morocco was announced as the host nation.
Uganda was placed in group B with Zambia, Namibia and Ivory Coast. The first group game was a 3-1 loss to Zambia on 14th January, and so was the second to Namibia which ended 1-0 before a goalless draw against Ivory Coast on the 22nd January.
Derrick Nsibambi scored Uganda’s only goal, a memorable one from the then KCCA FC youngster.
Uganda’s best performance at the CHAN finals came in 2014 finishing 3rd in the group with 4-point 1 away from the teams that progressed to the knock-outs.
Despite that incredible feat in South Africa nothing has ever changed for the local based players.
Now that qualification to the tournament has become routine, Can Uganda make it out of the group stages at the CHAN 2020?
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