Obua hat-trick paves Afcon way for Uganda

Uganda are on course for a first African Cup of Nations appearance since 1978 after beating Niger 3-1 in Kampala on Saturday.

Uganda are on course for a first African Cup of Nations appearance since 1978 after beating Niger 3-1 in Kampala on Saturday.

South African-based midfielder David Obua scored a hat-trick for the Cranes, who struck twice in the closing stages after Pascal Anicet had levelled a minute before half-time.

Obua, the son of a former top Ugandan football official, had been a doubtful starter as his team, Kaizer Chiefs, claimed that he had not recovered from injury and did not want to release him.

Victory lifted Uganda to 11 points on the final Group 3 standings, four less than Nigeria, who finished their six-match qualifying programme by defeating Lesotho 2-0 at home.

Nigeria automatically sealed a place at the 16-nation tournament in Ghana next year as group winners, while Uganda are set to fill one of three places reserved for the best runners-up.

However, the Cranes may have to wait until the final qualifiers are staged next month before knowing their fate as they strive to end a 30-year absence from the leading African national team competition.

l Kenya beat Group 6 winners Angola 2-1 in Nairobi, while in Kigali Rwanda walloped Liberia 4-0. - Sapa-AFP

X