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Mbekeka braced for her first game in charge as Tanzania, Uganda clash

By Football256 Team
FUFA Media

It has been seven years since Uganda last played in a U-20 women World Cup qualifier. They picked up a 22-0 aggregate victory over South Sudan in the first round, before they had to bow out of the tournament due to lack of finances.

The team will play in their first qualifier since, against Tanzania at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on Sunday 19th, January 2020.

Games between Uganda and Tanzania are always intense and demand quite a lot from either team, something Uganda’s head coach Oliver Mbekeka should be aware of especially that she had been part of the coaching staff at U-20 and the senior national team.

In fact Uganda does have a lot of know-how within the squad, as 10 of the 18 players in camp ahead of the game were part of the 2019 CECAFA Women Championships, as Uganda was eliminated by Tanzania.

Both nations have never met at the U-20 level and Mbekeka acknowledges that it provides a different challenge to either side.  

 “Yes some of the players have met Tanzania and some have not, but I believe we can win,” Mbekeka said ahead of the game.

Uganda has never played against Tanzania essentially making it a totally different team with different coaches and different abilities,” she added.

The team departed for Dar es Salaam on Friday, and have conducted a couple of recovery sessions both practical and theoretical in the country.

“The team is good and everyone is in good shape, no injuries. We are ready. I am confident we can win against Tanzania though the game won’t be as easy as they have been playing these qualifiers for the last couple of campaigns,” Mbekeka said.

Uganda Christian University Lady Cardinals’ defender Shadia Nankya will captain the side and will be deputized by Shakira Mutibwa, and goalkeeper Juliet Adeke.

FUFA Female player of the year Juliet Nalukenge is tipped to play an instrumental part for Uganda, alongside Lillian Mutuuzo, Zaina Namuleme and Margret Kunihira in the attack.  

The return leg will be played on February 1st at StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo. The winner over the two legs will play the winner between Senegal and Sierra Leone in the second round of the qualifiers.

Uganda U-20 Squad

Goalkeepers: Juliet Adeke (Kawempe Muslim LFC), Namusisi Joan (Mukono HS).

Defenders: Shadia Nankya (UCU Lady Cardinals), Stella Musibika (Kawempe Muslim LFC), Asia Nakibuuka (Kawempe Muslim LFC), Grace Aluka (Kawempe Muslim LFC), Aisha Namukisa (Kampala Queens FC),and Nadunga Bira (Olila HSC)

Midfielders: Phiona Nabbumba (She Corporates FC), Teddy Najjuma (UCU Lady Cardinals), Shamirah Nalugya (Kawempe Muslim LFC),), Anita Namata (Kawempe Muslim LFC),), Shakira Mutiibwa (Asubo Gafford Ladies FC)

Forwards: Fauzia Najjemba (Kampala Queens FC), Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslim LFC), Lillian Mutuuzo (Kampala Queens FC), Margret Kunihira (Kawempe Muslim LFC), and Zaina Namuleme (Kampala Queens FC)

Head Coach: Oliver Mbekeka

Stats:

  • Uganda U-20 will be playing the world cup qualifiers for the first time since 2013.
  • The last time Uganda played at this stage was against South Sudan and won on aggregate by 22-0.
  • Ten of the eighteen players who traveled to Tanzania were part of the Crested Cranes team that participated in the 2019 CECAFA Women Championship in Tanzania.
  • Tanzania’s game against Uganda will be the first meeting at the U-20 level.
  • Tanzania will be taking part in the fourth consecutive campaign since their first participation in 2013.
  • Tanzania has never failed to progress from the preliminary round in their last three campaigns.

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