It was the second time that the Uganda Cranes were failing to go past the group stages of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) while almost over the line.
The Cranes who came into their final Group B game against Ivory Coast at the ongoing 2022 CHAN tournament top of the standings, lost 3-1.
Sankara Karamoko, Vignon Ouotro, and Aubin Kramo netted for Ivory Coast whereas Moses Waiswa scored Uganda’s only goal of the game.
The West African side had a brilliant start to the game scoring in the 12th and 27th minute through Karamoko and Ouotro respectively.
Before Waiswa pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 34th minute after Rogers Mato was fouled in the forbidden area and 2-1 it finished at the interval.
Uganda returned for the second half much energized looking for an equalizer but it is Ivory Coast that added a third through Kramo in the 78th minute.
The Cranes’ best chances came when Mato nearly beat Ivory Coast goalkeeper Ayayi Folly from a dropping cross but the latter made a fingertip save.
Substitute Travis Mutyaba was denied by the upright from a well-taken freekick and 3-1 the game ended.
Despite coming into Sunday’s game top of the group with four points, Uganda finished third level on points with second-placed Ivory Coast who had a better goal difference and head-to-head.
Senegal who defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo 3-0 on the same day, finished top of the group with six points whereas the latter was bottom with two points.
It was the same case for Uganda at the 2014 edition in South Africa when they won 2-1 against Burkina Faso and drew 0-0 with Zimbabwe.
They lost the final game 3-1 to Morocco and were eliminated with four points in the third position.
Despite playing at the CHAN tournament the most times than any other country, Uganda has not gone past the group stages in all six attempts.
Uganda Cranes XI: Alionzi Nafian (GK), Gift Fred, Geofrey Wasswa, Kenneth Ssemakula, James Begisa, Derrick Ndahiro, Rogers Mato, Moses Waiswa, Karim Watambala, Frank Ssebufu, Milton Karisa
Substitutes: Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Jack Komakech (GK), Ashraf Mandela, Isa Mubiru, Hillary Mukundane, Travis Mutyaba, Titus Ssematimba, Moses Aliro, Nelson Senkatuka, Bright Anukani, Ibrahim Orit, Marvin Youngman