Tanzania will return to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 39 years after they sealed qualification for the 2019 edition with a 3-0 win over Uganda in Dar es Salaam on Sunday evening.
The Taifa Stars triumphed at the National Stadium to finish second in Group L behind the Cranes (who had already qualified) and deny Lesotho (who drew 0-0 away to Cape Verde in a concurrent game) a first ever place at the finals.
Emmanuel Amunike’s team will be the first from the East African nation to play at the AFCON since way back in 1980.
Tanzania looked the more proactive side from the early stages and they claimed the lead on 21 minutes, with Simon Msuva’s shot from the right of the penalty area taking a deflection off a defender which put it beyond the reach of Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
It was the first goal the Cranes had conceded in the qualification phase.
The hosts continued to look the better team through the remainder of the first half, but were unable to add to their advantage. However, early in the second stanza, they were awarded a debatable penalty for hand-ball and Erasto Nyomi stroked home from the spot to make it 2-0 in the 51st minute.
Just seven minutes later it was 3-0 in favour of the Taifa Stars, as Aggrey Morris got on the end of John Bocco’s cross from the right by-line and glanced home a perfectly-placed header to end the game as a contest.
Tanzania ended the group with eight points, second behind the 13-point haul of Uganda. Lesotho and Cape Verde completed the standings with six and five points respectively.
Tanzania (1) 3 (Msuva 21’, Nyoni pen 51’, Morris 58’)
Tanzania: Manula, Kamagi, Nyoni, Yondani, Morris, Samatta, Msuva (Ulimwengu 90+1’), Bocco (Salum 82’), Mussa (Mkami 71’), Khamis, Abbas
Uganda: Onyango, Awany, Lwanga, Okwi (Karisa 59’), Ntambi, Wakiro, Walusimbi, Miya (Lubega 70’), Kyambadde, Kaddu (Muhammad 80’), Waiswa