Uganda edged South Africa 1-0 in the FIFA U20 Women World Cup Qualifiers at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Friday evening.
It was Hadijah Nandago with all the strike keeping her form on a high after a spectacular U20 Women CECAFA Tournament at Njeru.
Uganda kicked off right away with sprinted attacks as they needed an early opener but South Africa looked more repulsed than them as they rather kept playing comfortably from the back.
In the 19th minute, attacking midfielder Hadijah Nandago headed Margaret Kunihira’s corner kick past South Africa’s custodian Nthabiseng Ramaisha to give Uganda a deserved lead.
After earning the lead, pressure shifted to Uganda as South Africa looked for an instant reply, thanks to well organised game play.
On return of the second stanza, both sides battled for possession and it was hard to tell who would surely walk away with maximum points on the cloudy day.
Midway the second half, Ayub Khalifa introduced Zainah Nandede and Lillian Mutuuzo for Margret Kunihira and Juliet Nalukenge respectively.
With twelve minutes to play on the clock, South Africa nearly found a leveler through Lithemba Sam-Sam after Uganda’s custodian Dauphine Nanyenga miscalculated a move but Sumaya Komuntale cleared the mess.
In the 81st minute, Lillian Mutuuzo found Najjemba’s cross at the far post but her shot from the left missed the target only inches.
Najjemba nearly sealed the tight encounter but her powerful effort from close range rattled off the goal post in added time.
The two sides will be meeting again for the return on December 17, 2021 in Johannesburg as the winner over two legs, will face Ghana or Zambia in the next round as they battle for a final spot in Costa Rica.
How they lined up
Uganda XI: Daphine Nyayenga (GK), Sumaya Komuntale, Nantongo Aisha, Shakira Nyinagahirwa, Samalie Nakacwa, Juliet Nalukenge, Hadija Nandago, Fauzia Najjemba ©️, Margret Kunihira, Bira Nadunga, Nakibuuka Asia
Substitutes:Kanyago Harima, Eva Nagayi, Catherine Nagadya, Aluka Grace, Saidah Namwanje, Zaina Nandede, Mutuuzo Lillian
South Africa XI: Nthabiseng Ramaisha (Gk), Sharol Dineo Ramoaka, Thimna Mpehle, Lonathemba Mhlongo ©️, Fikile Magama, Zethembiso Vilakazi, Wendy Shongwe, Chelsea Joy Daniels, Sphumelele Shamase, Lithemba Sam-Sam, Mmabatho Mogale
Substitutes: Samkelisiwe Promise Salena, Thubelihle Shamase, Nthabiseng Ronisha Majiya, Reitumetse Mosuoe.