Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKisntry predicted a difficult game against Burundi ahead of their CECAFA Group A encounter at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo.
Despite the 2-1 Victory, Cranes looked dominant with McKinstry rolling out an offensive approach, starting with Shafic Kagimu, Allan Okello and Bright Anukani who are predominantly attacking midfielders.
And the approach paid off instantly with the Cranes dominating from the first whistle, Anukani and Fahad Bayo put the Cranes ahead in the opening 21 minutes, before Cedric Rurasenge pulled one back for Burundi at the hour mark.
The Cranes had the ball in the net, inside the opening three minutes, Anukani’s lofted pass into the area tapped past Burundi keeper Fabien Mutombora by Bayo, but the referee ruled out for offside.
Five minutes later, Anukani was again at the center of things for the Cranes, this time capitalising on poor clearance by Burundi to slot home the opening goal of the game in the eighth minute.
Uganda didn’t let off even after taking the lead, dominating possession with short intricate passes, Okello, Kagimu and Anukani the orchestrators.
In the 19th minute, Anukani almost doubled the Cranes advantage, but his shot from the center of the box well blocked.
It was not long after that before Bayo also got in on the action, Anukani’s clever little through ball setting up the striker to score past his Vipers teammate Mutombora in the 21st minute.
The Cranes then had more shouts at goal, Bayo, Ben Ocen; who was playing his first game for the Cranes all squandered chances as the first half which saw Burundi record just one shot on target came to a wrap.
The second stanza started on a different note than the firs, the home side slowing down the tempo a bit.
With 52 minutes on the watch, Bayo almost grabbed his second on the day, but Mutombora’s finger tip save pushed the ball onto the crossbar with Burundi scampering to clear their lines.
Against the run of play, Burundi pulled a goal back at the hour mark after defender John Revita handled the ball inside the area. Rurasenge stepped up to bury the resulting penalty.
Anukani’s creativity was on the show again, teeing up Okello who beat his marker before he placed his effort onto the upright. Vianne Ssekajjugo failed to capitalise on the rebound, blazing his effort over the crossbar.
The Cranes go top of Group A with three points, after Somalia and Djibouti earlier played to a goalless stalemate.
Uganda go up against Somalia in their next game while Burundi face Eritrea on the same day, both games will be played on Monday December 9th.