Uganda cruised into the semis of Cecafa tournament despite a 1-1 draw against Ethiopia on Sunday.
It was Derrick Nsibambi, who saved nine-man Uganda from crashing out of the tournament with a late equalizer against the hard fighting Ethiopian side.
The reigning champions just needed a point to secure a place in the next place. Timothy Awany received a second yellow card for time wasting, just seconds to the final whistle to become the third player to receive a red card.
Ethiopia announced their intent early in the game with attacks that forced Uganda to backtrack to their defence. Uganda were saved by the woodwork after Ismail Watenga almost pushed the ball into his own net from an attempted save just four minutes into the game as Ethiopia pushed the champions to their half.
Ethiopian trio of Dukele Dawa on the right flank, Abubakar Sani on the middle and Adana Tsegeye on the far left proved a thorn in the flesh for Cranes’ defence, who struggled to cope with the pace injected by the fast Walya Antelopes.
Ethiopia opened the scores in the 22-minute through Sani, who hit home his second goal of the tournament after tapping a rebound from a Dawa’s first strike that lazily hit the crossbar.
Dawa was once again involved in Ethiopia second goal but Abede Yalew’s effort was waved off for a foul after he stole the ball off Ismail Watenga’s hands as the Uganda custodian struggled to deal with Dawa’s long-range effort from 25-yards.
Uganda made an early substitution with Saddam Juma being pulled out for Kalisa Milton in the 28th minute. A hard working Dawa went to the referee’s book in the 39th minute for a foul on Muzamir Mutyaba as Uganda mounted a dangerous counter attack.
Former AFC Leopards midfielder, Allan Kateregga came in for Muamir Mutyaba in the 54th minute as coach Basena tried to break down Ethiopia from the flanks.
Uganda were reduced to 10 men after Isaac Muleme was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence after he brought down Dawa just outside his box in the 79th minute.
Nsibambi stepped up for the big moment with a late equalizer for Uganda. Nsibambi took full advantage of Timariam Shanko’s costly mistake to score Ugandan equalizer after the ball came off Shako’s short hands for a simple header.
Uganda Starting squad: Ismail Watenga (GK), Joseph Nsubuga, Isaac Muleme, Timothy Awany, Bernard Muwanga (C), Ibrahim Saddam Juma, Allan Kyambadde, Derrick Nsibambi, Kawesa Hood, Tadeo Lwanga and Muzamir Mutyaba.
Reserves: Tom Ikaara (GK), Benjamin Ochan (GK), Nicholas Wadada, Daniel Isiagi, Aggrey Madoi, Tom Masiko, Shafik Bakaki, Nelson Senkatuka, Paul Mucureezi, Allan Kateregga, Muzamiru Mutyaba and Milton Karisa.
Ethiopia squad: Timariam Shanko, Abebaw Butako, Abede Tilahum, Tediros Bekele, Amaye Temasgen, Ate Biruk, Adana Tesegaye, Firew Selemon, Abubaker Sani, Dukele Dawa, Abel Yalew
Reserves: Kidanu Bereket, Alemu Tariku, Gerba Adugan, Debele Bekele, Gabru Adis, Alemu Samson, Gabre Tesfaye, aeleko Kenean Aregawi Ammanuel, Kena Endale, Sarure Abedrahaman.