The Uganda U20 Women National team head coach Ayub Khalifa underlined the reduction in the goals scored during his side’s 3-1 victory in the return of the FIFA U20 Women World Cup qualifiers against Kenya as a no cause for alarm.
The remark was a counter to the talk that had gained traction following the conclusion of the game played at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Friday October 8.
It was also to draw more light to the comparisons with the first leg played at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi where the Ugandan girls had managed to amass a convincing 7-2 victory.
“I am not surprised that we scored only three goals unlike the seven in the first leg,” Khalifa told the press after the deserved win.
“I am happy with the result even though many expected a ‘million’ goals. I had earlier predicted that the game would be harder because we were playing not to lose and priority was given to defence,” he added.
Margaret Kunihira broke the game’s virginity after tapping home from close in continuation of her goalscoring form, a moment best remembered for the lapse in the Kenyan defense that left her unmarked and isolated in the penalty area.
Kenya’s captain Peris Aside levelled matters through a penalty before Hadijja Nandago would restore team Uganda’s advantage, pouncing on a loose ball in the box just before end of first half.
Juliet Nalukenge had to wait till the last minute of the game to light the stadium to flames (at least for the few there to witness) after striking a powerful freekick into the back of the net.
“They went back and nullified some of their mistakes so they looked a better side and gave us a much better challenge by making it hard for us to score,” Khalifa reiterated in a gesture to give credit to the opponent’s game approach.
The result from the second leg tie meant Uganda advanced to the third qualification stage with a 10-3 aggregate scoreline to their advantage and will face South Africa in their next hurdle.