The Cranes won their third straight game to reach the semifinals of the Cecafa Championship after claiming a 2-0 win over Eritrea at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo.
But as admitted by coach Johnathan McKinstry, they were again not at their best particularly in the first half when the Eritreans through Robel Teklemichael and Ali Suleman twice forced goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa into action.
The custodian was one of seven changes from Monday’s 2-0 win over Somalia as McKinstry sought to freshen up his squad after another laboured performance. But that didn’t show until the second half with Nicholas Kasozi’s long range effort giving the Cranes a 56th minute lead when goalkeeper Kibrom Solomun let the ball slip through his hands.
The Cranes then stepped up a gear with substitute Joachim Ojera’s directness troubling the Eritrean defence.
One of those runs ended with him being fouled for the freekick taken by Mustafa Kizzathat and handled in the box. The left back stepped up to convert emphatically to leave Sunday’s game with academic importance.
Burundi are already eliminated in the group following a 2-1 loss to Djibouti, their third straight defeat.
Djibouti are now second with four points while Eritrea stay third, a point behind.