KAMPALA. Uganda qualified for Cameroon 2019 Nations Cup finals with a match to spare thanks to a well-taken header by Patrick Kaddu in the 1-0 victory over Cape Verde at Namboole on Saturday.
The KCCA striker's second half goal, his first in qualification, ensured the Cranes will be at two successive finals since the the '74, '76 and '78 editions.
This was also monumental for Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre, who has qualified the team on the first time of asking in his maiden role as a national team boss.
"I'm very happy we've reached our target of qualifying with one match left," said the Frenchman, "I'm very happy for my boys, their commitment. We are a family."
"I also want to thank the fans and the federation. It's been a collective effort."
The result watched by about 30,000 fans sees Uganda lead Group L on 13 points, a massive eight ahead of second-placed Tanzania, who face Lesotho on Sunday.
Uganda, who wrap the campaign away to Tanzania next March, could finish with a country's record high 16 points.
The Cranes were a fairly better side in the first half with Kaddu, starting ahead of second half substitute Edrisa Lubega and Derrick Nsibambi, twice beating the visitors defence but Khalid Aucho and Isaac Muleme's efforts were ineffective.
Cape Verde, who could have scored against the run of play when Garry Mendes Rodrigues beat Murushid Jjuuko and Hassan Wasswa's defence only for goakleeper Denis Onyango to step in, were much improved after the break.
Actually, Jjuuko had to race back and clear the ball off the line after Cape Verde substitute Heldon Ramos rounded Onyango midway the second half.
But Cranes looked more dangerous going forward, with silky Moses Waiswa transitioning well from Denis Iguma and Aucho to Faruku Miya, Godfrey Walusimbi and Allan Kyambadde.
It was one of those moves that had Walusimbi swing in one of his quality deliveries that Kaddu leaped above the otherwise solid Fernando Varela and Carlos Rodrigues to head in the winner six minutes from time.