KAMPALA. Cranes put one foot into the 2018 Chan Championship with a 3-0 first leg qualifier win over Amavuubi of Rwanda at the St. Mary's stadium in Kitende on Saturday evening.
In the first game since the departure of Micho Sredojevic, the interim coaching pair of Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba made one change from the previous game against South Sudan with Paul Musamali coming in for Timothy Awany.
And the Cranes started on the front foot going ahead as early as the 12th minute when Derrick Nsibambi was needlessly fouled by Aimable Nsabimana.
Burundian centre referee Pacific Ndabihawenimana pointed to the spot and midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba stepped up to squeeze the ball past goalkeeper Marcel Nzarora.
The playmaker was enjoying his game and soon doubled the Cranes' lead midway through the first half in splendid style.
Given time and space in the opposition half, Mutyaba played a quick give and go with Milton Karisa before toe poking past the stranded Rwandan custodian.
The goal had the largely partisan crowd on its feet as the Cranes dominated proceedings thereafter to take a 2-0 first half lead.
They then weathered some early Rwanda pressure in the second half before increasing their advantage in the tie.
The lively Karisa who tormented the opposition defence with his pace all evening was again involved, playing a neat one-two with Mutyaba before he tumbled under a challenge.
The ball kindly fell into striker Derrick Nsibambi's path to curl in the game's third goal and his second in successive games after scoring the opener in the 5-1 rout of South Sudan in the previous round.
Rwanda then piled on pressure in the second half but were ultimately unable to get the desired away goal they craved.
The two teams meet in the second leg next Saturday in Kigali with the winner qualifying for next year's Chan Championship in Kenya.
Chan first leg qualifier result
Uganda 3-0 Rwanda
Ismail Watenga, Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Savio Kabugo, Paul Musamali, Bernard Muwanga (Tom Masiko), Milton Karisa, Moses Waiswa(Muhammad Shaban) , Derrick Nsibambi, Muzamir Mutyaba( Paul Mucureezi), Shafiq Kagimu