Uganda’s national football team, the Cranes, secured a comfortable victory against Niger, but their hopes of qualifying for the Africa Nations Cup finals were dashed for the second consecutive time.
In a match played in Morocco, the Cranes took control early with two first-half goals courtesy of Aziz Kayondo.
However, their fate depended on the outcome of another match between Algeria and Tanzania.
To secure qualification, Uganda not only needed a win against Niger but also required Tanzania to lose to Algeria, ensuring Uganda’s place as the second-best team in the group.
While Uganda successfully won their match, their hopes were pinned on Algeria, the group leaders.
Unfortunately for Uganda, Algeria could only manage a goalless draw against Tanzania in Algiers.
These results meant that Algeria finished atop the group with 16 points from six games, while Tanzania secured the second spot with eight points.
Uganda, finishing third with zero points, fell short of qualification.
This disappointment marks the second consecutive time that Uganda has failed to qualify for the AFCON finals, with their missed opportunity at home against Niger last year being a crucial factor.
Uganda will now need to refocus and prepare for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, commencing in November. The Cranes have been drawn into Group G, which includes formidable opponents like Algeria.
They will compete for the top position in the group against Guinea, Mozambique, Botswana, and Somalia, aiming to secure a place in the 2026 World Cup hosted jointly by Canada, Mexico, and the United States across 16 cities.