The Chipolopolo of Zambia suffered another disappointment at the pre-CHAN mini tournament as they were defeated 2-0 by the Uganda Cranes at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Annex Stadium on Monday.
Zambia gave up a two-goal lead in their 3-3 draw against Niger on Saturday, while the Uganda Cranes played to a 1-1 draw against tournament hosts Cameroon.
Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry made 10 changes to his line-up that played against Cameroon, Alionzi Nafian starting ahead of Joel Mutakubwa behind a fresh back four that included Paul Willa Eric Ssenjobe, Hassan Muhamood and Halid Lwaliwa who captained the side.
Veteran midfielder Tony Mawejje retained his place with Bobosi Byaruhanga and Saidi Kyeyune starting alongside him in a midfield three.
Steven Mukwala, Vianney Ssekajugo and Ibrahim Orit started upfront for the Cranes. Joachim Ojera who took a hit to his head in the previous game and defender Paul Mbowa were not included on the matchday squad.
Uganda got the game underway in the first half and were on top from the start, commanding possession and mounting pressure on their opponents.
Steven Mukwala and Eric Ssenjobe who was involved with the Cranes for the first time came close to scoring the game’s first goal early on.
Forward Vianney Ssekajugo’s clever run put him through on goal who brilliantly scored to give the Cranes the lead after 25 minutes.
Ssenjobe had another sniff at goal with a powerful header inside the box, but his efforts was inches wide as the Cranes went into the first half break ahead.
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side were better early on in the second half, but the Cranes doubled their lead against the run of play.
Steven Mukwala capitalised on shambolic build up play from the Zambians to score Uganda’s second goal of the game in the 60th minute.
Cranes coach made a couple of substitutes, bringing on Shafiq Kagimu for Tony Mawejje, Hassan Ssenyonjo replaced Bobosi Byaruhanga before the hour mark.
Shaban Muhamad replaced Mukwala in the 67th minute, Joseph Ssemujju and Ben Ocen whose red card against Cameroon was written off according to tournament rules were also introduced in the place of Vianney Ssekajugo and Ibrahim Orit.
While AbdulKarim Watambala was a late introduction for Saidi Kyeyune.
The Chipolopolo were twice denied by the post late on in the second half as the Cranes held on to keep a clean sheet in the game.
Uganda will return to action on Thursday against Niger in their last build up game before the CHAN tournament, while Zambia will also face Cameroon on January 7.
Uganda is drawn in group C alongside Morocco, Rwanda and Togo while Zambia has been drawn in pool D for the CHAN against Guinea, Namibia and Tanzania.
The CHAN tournament is expected to get underway on January 16 and will run until February 7, 2021 in four cities in Cameroon.
Uganda Cranes XI: Alionzi Nafian (GK), Eric Ssenjobe, Paul Willa, Hassan Muhamood, Halid Lwaliwa (C), Bobosi Byaruhanga, Tony Mawejje, Saidi Kyeyune, Vianne Ssekajugo, Ibrahim Orit, Steven Mukwala
Substitutes: Joel Mutakubwa, Tom Ikara, Aziz Kayondo Ashraf Mandela, Mustafa Mujuzi, Hassan Muhammad, Shafiq Kagimu, Karim Watambala, Hassan Ssenyonjo, Ben Ocen, Joseph Ssemujju, Milton Karisa, Mohamed Shaban
Zambia XI: Charles Kalumba, Adrian Chama (C), Zachariah Chilongoshi, Benedict Chepeshi, Clement Mwape, Kelvin Kapumbu, Paul Katema, Bruce Musakanya, Collins Sikombe, Moses Phiri, Emmanuel Chabula