The final whistle went, Burkina Faso actors rushed into each other’s arms, and Cranes players sank to the floor, weary and dejected.
This was shortly after Moses Oloya, a second half replacement of Emmanuel Okwi, had agonisingly helped the ball away from goal from two yards with the clock ticking away.
His unbelievable miss saw fans immediately begin to walk out, resigned and seemingly fed up.
In the end, the hosts settled for a goalless draw against the 10-man Stallions, a result that seriously dented Cranes chances of qualifying for the 2017 Nations Cup finals in Gabon.
The result moves both teams to seven points in Group D and keeps Cranes in second position.
Burkina Faso stay top because of a better head-to-head. Coach Micho Sredojevic’s men must now beat Botswana away and Comoros at home and hope Burkina Faso falter in their remaining two matches for them to qualify.
The script is not surprising, really. Just like in the 2015 Afcon qualifiers and earlier ones, Uganda have yet again failed in their third and fourth games. They will hope to recover from this.
The match, which had Nigerian great Nwankwo Kanu as a special guest, started on an emotional note with
a minute’s silence being observed to remember former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Abel Dhaira, who succumbed to abdominal cancer on Sunday.
Tonny Mawejje provided the first real action inside six minutes, the midfielder’s crossed ball kissing the crossbar, and out.
The rest of the half was devoid of meaningful action. Actually, the first shot on target for the match didn’t come until the 67th minute when Geoffrey Massa’s free-kick found goalkeeper Diakite Daouda’s hands.
Dennis Onyango’s major action could have resulted into a goal late on, the Ugandan goalkeeper rushing out to clear a high ball only to hand it over to Alain Traore, whose lofted effort landed on the top of the net.
The five added minutes were enough for Burkinabe skipper Charles Kabore to see red after a second bookable offence, and for Oloya to register arguably the miss of his career.
Uganda will hope it’s not another missed opportunity yet to end a 39-year wait.