10 Dec, 16:55
KCCA FC, striker Derrick Nsibambi struck late as nine-man Ugandan Cranes salvaged a point in a one all draw against Ethiopia in a Cecafa group B match played on Sunday 10 December at Bukhungu Stadium.
Abdela Sani opened the scoring for Ethiopia in the 24th minute before Nsibambi struck three minutes from time to help the holders progress. Uganda finished the match two men down after Isaac Muleme and Timothy Awany were sent off for second bookings.
Ethiopia had a goal disallowed in the fourth minute when Abdela Sani found the back of the net only to be denied by the offside flag.
The Ethiopians then took charge of the game pressing the Ugandans in search of the much-needed goal. They, however, couldn't find an early strike as Cranes backline marshalled by Muleme Isaac, Muwanga Bernard, Awany Timothy and Joseph Nsubuga proved difficult to beat in the opening minutes.
Ethiopia pressure finally paid off in the 24th minute when Abdela gave them the lead. Yele Firew shot came off the upright and the forward was rightly placed to tap home.
Five minutes later, Ethiopia were controversially denied a second goal by referee Peter Waweru. Dukele Dawa's shot from midfield was spilt to Tilahun Abel's path and the forward didn't hesitate to finish only to for the referee to rule it out. Sensing an imminent defeat, Uganda Cranes withdrew Sadam Juma for Milton Kalisa at the half-hour mark in bid to add some punch in their forward line.
Uganda showed improvement towards the break but couldn't get an equalizer. Ethiopia took a one-goal advantage to the break.
Uganda should have equalized two minutes after the restart when Allan Kyambadde fired from close range but Ethiopia keeper, Balcha Timariam who was largely untested in the first half stood tall to deny the midfielder.
The defending champions continued piling pressure in search of an equalizer. Derrick Nsibambi, Mutyaba Muzabir and Kaweesa Hood all came close. Uganda were however hard done by Ethiopia players who kept going down injured just to kill Cranes momentum.
Muleme red card
Towering defender Awanyi was denied by Balcha in the 79th minute. His powerful shot from close range was blocked by the shot-stopper as Cranes now resorted to an endless shooting.
Things went from bad to worse for Cranes in the 82nd minute when left-back Isaac Muleme was given his marching orders for a second booking.
Despite being a man down, Uganda got the all-important equalizer in the 87th minute through Derrick Nsibambi. Ethiopia keeper parried the ball to his path and the KCCA man was there to execute the finish to help his side qualify for the semis.
Cranes finished two men less after Timothy Awany was dismissed deep into stoppage time.