By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Uganda Cranes suffered a humiliating 5 – 2 defeat at the hands of Morocco to exit the Total 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) as usual, at the group stages.
Ibrahim Orit and Said Kyeyune scored for the Cranes but they could not handle the lethal Moroccan attacks at the other end of the pitch.
Cranes’ coach Johnathan McKinstry’s side came into the game aware that only maximum points would put them into the quarterfinals for the first time in the competition history.
Following a shaky start that required goalkeeper Charles Lukwago to be at his best to deny Ayoub El Kaabi, the Cranes got the lead through Orit.
Orit’s shot from inside the 18-yard box found the back of the net off a Brian Aheebwa assist.
Uganda could only hold on to the lead until the second minute of additional time in the first half as the referee pointed to the spot adjudging Mujuzi to have handled in the area, and Morocco’s El Kaabi made no mistake but send Lukwago the wrong way to bring the matters to level terms.
Six minutes into the second half, Soufiane Rahim gave the Atlas Lions the lead with a brilliant finish after Aziz Kayondo slipped.
Hamza El-Moussaoui extended the defending champions’ lead in the 71st minute after Denis Iguma easily lost possession on the edge of the box to further diminish the Cranes’ hopes of a comeback.
The Cranes pulled one back through Saidi Kyeyune, but Morocco scored two more through Rahimi and an own goal from Cranes goalkeeper Lukwago.
Getting one point from three group matches men that Uganda cannot proceed to the quarterfinals of the competition, so it will be defending champions Morocco and neighbours Rwanda.