By ERNEST NDUNDA in Dar-es-Salaam
The victory grants the Ugandan side passage to the last eight with a tag of tournament favourites if their performance yesterday is anything to go by.
The Uganda taxmen started the match on high tone and deserved the win against a subdued Ports side, which lost the rhythm of play especially in first half. The Ugandans grabbed the opener after 26 minutes through Augustine Nsumba having been put through by Robert Ssentongo.
Ports chance of cancelling the lead came in the 34th minute when twins Roland and Vincent Agbor from Cameroon combined well but were denied passage in the box by the solid defence of URA. Ssentongo was unmarked in the 38th minute when he sneaked between two defenders and tapped the ball to teammate Mubiru Samuel who doubled the Ugandans advantage.
URA rested their goalkeeper Yasin Mugab for Brian Bwette in the second half and the understudy duly proved his worth as he brilliantly guarded the goalposts.
Ssentongo was unstoppable six minutes into the second half as he went on to score the third goal to ensure the Ugandans sailed to the quarterfinals unbeaten.
Ports pulled back a consolation goal through Cameroonian Roland in the 70th minute and none of the two teams managed to increase their tally to the final whistle.
On Thursday’s other match at the National Stadium, Atletico Olympique confirmed their place in the quarter-finals after beating the eliminated El Salaam, Wau of South Sudan 5-0.
Debutants El Salaam ended their campaign at nternational football with a performance that patched up their porous defence which had let in seven goals each in their previous two games.
This time they conceded two less, falling 5-0 to Atletico Olympique during a match of free flowing football. The Burundian scorers were: Divin Gateretse, Hussein Ciza, Frederick Nsabiyumwa, Emery Nimubona and Kevin Ndayisenga.