Uganda Cranes were sent crashing out of the African Nations Championship (Chan) in humiliating fashion on Tuesday as they fell 5-2 to Morocco in Douala, Cameroon.
Ibrahim Orit scored his first goal of the tournament in between Morocco’s collection and Saidi Kyeyune added his second beauty of the competition but there was no stopping the rampaging Atlas Lions.
Morocco’s Soufiane Rahimi scored twice for the defending champions as the Cranes crashed out of the home-based players tourney in the group stage for the fifth successive time.
The Atlas Lions were joined in the quarterfinals by Rwanda, who trailed Togo twice before Jacques Tuyisenge and Ernest Sugira scored within six minutes for a 3-2 victory in Limbe.
Morocco, who are looking to become the first back-to-back winners of the competition, topped Group C with seven points, Rwanda five, Togo three and Uganda one.
In conceding five, Uganda recorded the worst defence at the competition over their 15 matches (five editions). They have conceded 24 overall.
Interestingly, the Ugandans – who had to win for them to progress – began well.
Orit’s powerful effort on 25 minutes gave coach Johnny McKinstry men the lead against the run of play and momentarily moved them second in the table ahead of Morocco.
Half time was beckoning when Morocco levelled through captain Ayoub el Kaabi’s penalty after Ugandan defender Mustafa Mujuzi handled in the box.
Rahimi then took charge of the second half, the forward scoring either side of Hamza el Moussaoui’s second for Morocco to give the north Africans a 4-1 lead.
Kyeyune pulled one back for Uganda with his trade mark powerful drive, not as spectacular as the one against Togo but good enough on the eye.
Uganda’s goalkeeper Charles Lukwago, who was the reason the Cranes did not concede eight or so, then unfortunately turned an Abdelilah Hafidi shot into his own net for 5-2 in Morocco’s favour.
In Limbe, Yendoutie Nano gave the Togolese the lead but was cancelled by Olivier Niyonzima in the final minute of the first half.
Bilal Akoro restored Togo’s lead but the Rwandans struck twice in quick succession to finish runners-