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Crested Cranes put up spirited display to dispatch Cameroon

2024 Paris Olympic Women’s Football Tournament Qualifiers

First Leg
Uganda 2-0 Cameroon

Uganda got advantage in the Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers after defeating Cameroon at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru on Thursday.

The game was the first for interim head coach Charles Ayiekho Lukula who handed defender Justine Najjuko and midfielder Zaitun Namaganda their debut.

Coach Charles Ayiekho shouting out instructions to the players.

A collective spirited effort from the Crested Cranes saw them earn a 2-0 lead.

Catherine Nagadya and Fazila Ikwaput scored a goal in either half in a game that was watched by FUFA President Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim and some of the FUFA EXCO Members.

Nagadya fired Uganda into the lead in the 11th minute capitalizing on a goalkeeping howler by Cameroon’s Michaely Bihina.

She fumbled with Shamirah Nalugya’s ferocious strike from free kick and spilled the ball into the path of Nagadya who fired home from the rebound.

At the half hour mark, Cameroon were awarded a penalty after defender Justine Najjuko handled the ball in the box.

Cameroon captain Ajara Njoya took it but her effort hit the base of the post and also failed to find the target from the rebound.

The Crested Cranes proved resilient in the next minutes with a water tight backline and goalkeeper Vanessa Edith Karungi stood tall to deny the visitors.

At the start of the second half, the coach made changes with Bridget Nabisaalu and Asia Nakibuuka replacing Najjuko and Namaganda respectively.

When Phiona Nabbumba got injured, she was replaced by Jackline Adong who was also making her debut.

In the 77th minute, Uganda doubled the lead through Ikwaput who capitalized on a melee to slot home.

Fauzia Najjemba did the donkey work on the left wing and set up Ikwaput but she missed on the first attempt. The Cameroonians failed to clear the ball away and the forward did not make any mistake at the second attempt.

There were also further changes with Elizabeth Nakigozi and Joan Ainembabazi replacing the goal scorers Nagadya and Ikwaput.

Uganda takes a 2-0 lead into the return leg slated for Tuesday next week in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The winner between Uganda and Cameroon will face either Nigeria or Ethiopia.

Uganda’s Starting XI
Vanessa Edith Karungi (GK), Justine Najjuko, Sumaya Komuntale, Shadia Nankya, Joan Nabirye, Phiona Nabbumba, Shamirah Nalugya, Zaitun Namaganda, Fazila Ikwaput, Catherine Nagadya, Fauzia Najjemba (C)

Daisy Nakaziro (GK), Gloria Namakula (GK), Jackline Adong, Asia Nakibuuka, Bridget Nabisaalu, Joan Ainembabazi, Amina Nababi, Desire Katisi Natooro, Elizabeth Nakigozi, Anita Namata

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