Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia joined Tanzania as one of the first teams to qualify for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020 with victories in the second leg matches on Saturday.
Tanzania qualified on Friday night after coming from a goal down to beat Sudan 2-1 in Omdurman to progress on the away goal rule having lost the first leg at home 1-0.
In Kampala, the Uganda Cranes put up an emphatic performance at home against Burundi, replicating the same 3-0 result they posted in the first leg played in Bujumbura. Fahad Bayo, Viane Sekajugo and youngster Allan Okello got in the goals as Johnny Mckinstry’s side progressed 6-0 in aggregate.
The home side started off well and it only took them five minutes to break the deadlock with Bayo controlling Mustafa Kizza’s cross from the left before calmly beating the keeper from close range.
Burundi gave in a fight as they closed down the Ugandans forcing them to play in their own half. The Cranes had to wait until the final 20 minutes of the game to kill off the tie and book a consecutive place in the Nations Championship.
Sekajugo took the game 2-0 on the afternoon and 5-0 on aggregate when he ran into a Willa Paul cross to convert another goal from close range. Okello drove the final nail into Burundi’s coffin seven minutes from time after running into a poor goalkick from the Burundi shot stopper to finish under no pressure.
In Kigali, Rwanda booked a at the Nations Championship for the fourth time with a 2-1 aggregate victory, the slim 1-0 first leg victory in Addis Ababa ensuring they went through after playing to a 1-1 draw at home.
Ernest Sugira once again proved to be crucial, scoring the equalizer eight minutes from time after Ethiopia went ahead. Sugira scored Rwanda’s lone goal when they won 1-0 in Addis.
Mesfin Tafesse broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute to swing the game even when he intercepted Thierry Manzi’s header back to the keeper Yves Kimenyi. Tafesse picked up and rounded up the shot stopper before tapping into an empty net.
Despite going down, Rwanda kept the fight and they were handed a lifeline eight minutes to time when Sugira rose highest inside the box to head home a cross from Fitina Omborenga.
In Lusaka, host Zambia went through 3-2 on aggregate despite being held to a 2-2 draw at home by Eswatini. The Chipolopolo won 1-0 in the first leg and that result ended up being the most important as it saw them through.
Emmanuel Chabula scored twice, in the fifth minute and 57th minute to hand the home side a comfortable 2-0 on the day and 3-0 on aggregate. However, they were handed a scare when Eswatini gave a fight.
Just three minutes after conceding the second, Dlamini Pfinda pulled one back for the visitors before Sifiso Matse tied the game to give Zambia a headache in the final 12 minutes of the game. But, the home side managed to defend well and guard the result to book a ticket to Cameroon.