‘We shall score, and we shall score more than once’ – the statement was clear from Uganda U-17 head coach Ayub Khalifah ahead of their second leg encounter against Tanzania at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.
And with a capacity crowd behind their quest, the U-17 girls team did not disappoint as they overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit to win 5-0 and progress 6-2 on aggregate to the playoff round of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers.
Tanzania had proved to be the Achilles heel for their rivals, as Uganda were yet to register a victory over them in the Women’s game, and the Tanzanians handed the U-17 team its first loss in 14 games, but on Saturday, they were brushed aside.
Uganda hit the ground running, Margret Kunihira coming close in the 17th minute. Kunihira’s efforts would pay off in the 43rd minute beating goalkeeper Aisha Ismail from long range.
Tanzania did hold on and came close to restoring their lead on average a couple of times, but with 25 minutes to go, they would completely be blown off the park as Uganda went on a rampage.
Fauzia Najjemba who has scored on all occasions she has played against Tanzania extended her run, grabbing her 20th career goal in national colours, her free kick from over 25 yards beating Aisha Ismail who should have done better. Uganda took the front foot in the tie in the 75th minute.
Aisha Ismail then had a moment to dread three minutes later, as defender Grace Aluka’s clearance from inside her own half flew past the goalkeeper to make it three for Uganda.
Skipper Juliet Nalukenge also arrived to the party with two minutes to play, with a classic forward goal. The reigning Ugandan Female player of the year completed her brace deep inside stoppage time with a curling effort past the goalkeeper after Tanzania failed to clear their lines.
Uganda now progress to the playoff round where they await the aggregate winner between Cameroon and Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon leads the tie 4-0 on aggregate after the first leg.