July 5, 2022

AFCON: Wasteful Cranes drop points at home

By Allan Damba

Uganda Cranes surrendered their first-half lead to draw one all with Niger in their second match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Wednesday.

The Cranes scored first through Milton Karisa’s strike before Amadou Sabo equalized in the second stanza in front of a decent crowd at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

Notably, though, the hosts squandered several chances especially in the first half, before the guests came back to take full advantage.

Uganda applied early pressure in a quick search for an opener and, they nearly got rewarded but Bobosi Byaruhanga miscued his shot wide in the 10th minute.

In the 20th minute, Farouk Miya benefitted from great pressing by Fahad Bayo and got in a keeper-to-beat scenario but Niger custodian Kassaly Dauda saved brilliantly.

15 minutes later, Bayo’s headed effort from a Karisa cross missed only by a few inches.

Miya, in the 39th minute, was set by captain Emmanuel Okwi, placed the ball brilliantly at the far post but missed the target by a whisker.

Four minutes later, Karisa who had been brilliant scored from a tight angle with a cross-turned-shot, to break the deadlock for the Cranes.

The start to the second half was relatively quiet in terms of goalscoring opportunities from either team.

In the 59th minute, substitute Allan Kyambadde nearly doubled the home lead, but Dauda was equal to the challenge with a superb save.

In the 71st minute, Niger’s Amadou Sabo took advantage of Uganda’s defensive lapse to curl superbly past Charles Lukwago, to make 1-1.

Uganda remains rock bottom in Group F with just a single point. Niger is second whereas Algeria and Tanzania occupy first and second respectively.

Uganda: Charles Lukwago (GK), Garvin Kizito Mugweri, Halid Lwaliwa, Bevis Mugabi, Aziz Kayondo, Khalid Aucho, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Milton Karisa, Farouk Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, Fahad Bayo

Substitutions: Alionzi Nathian, Elvis Bwomono, Isaac Muleme, James Begisa, Marvin Youngman, Allan Okello, Allan Kyambadde, Muhammad Shaban, Derrick Kakooza, Steven Sserwadda, Hakim Kiwanuka, Martin Kizza, Muzamir Mutyaba

Niger: Kassaly Dauda (GK), Rahim Bonkano, Victorien Adebayor, Abdoul Garba, Ousmane Diabatte, Karim Dakada, Amadou Sabo, Youssef Oumarou, Boubacar Moumouni, Amadou Wonkoye, Daniel Sosah

Substitutions: Hassane Adamou, Kairu Amoustafa, Ibrahim Boubacar, Razak Seyni, Issa Djibrilla, Mahamane Cisse, Kassali Djibo.

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