Skipper Emmanuel Okwi scored a brace as Uganda went into the halftime leading Eritrea 3-0 in the first match of Group C being played at the City Stadium of Nairobi.
Okwi had missed a glorious chance to put Uganda ahead in the second minute after he beat his marker only for him to shot wide. He however atoned for his earlier miss when he tapped in a Dan Sserunkuma cross in the ninth minute.
In the 38th minute, Okwi was at it again, extending Uganda’s lead. He latched onto across to tap in another Sserunkuma into the near post.
Hamis Diego Kiiza had earler doubled Cranes’s lead in the 18th minute from the spot after Sserunkuma was pushed in the box.
Uganda were the better side through out the half while Eritrea rarely threatened Benjamin Ochan.
The Eritrean team are missing the services of two players who vanished in Nairobi after training on Saturday. The Cranes are currently second in the group behind Sudan, who face Rwanda’s Amavubi in the first group match today.
UGANDA: Benjamin Ochan, Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Savio Kabugo, Richard Kassaa, Khalid Aucho, Baaba Kizito, Diego Kizza, Dan Sserunkuuma, Brian Majwega, Emmanuel Okwi
ERITREA: Abdulahi Abdurahman (GK), Haile Goitom (8), Yasser Omer (14),Yonas Selemun, Suarfael Tesfamekal (4), Samson Estifanos (6), Yekalo Gezae (18), Yonathan Selemon (13), Muner Ahmed (5), Haben Berhan (10), Serak Beyene(9)