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FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers: Teen Cranes ready to overturn first leg deficit against Zambia

As the Uganda U17 Women’s National Team (Teen Cranes) brace themselves for a decisive encounter against Zambia in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, all eyes are on their relentless pursuit of progressing to the next stage.

Teen Cranes Head Coach Sheryl Botes, despite the odds stacked against them following a 2-0 loss in the first leg, exudes confidence and determination as she prepares her squad for the crucial second leg slated for Friday at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

During the pre match press conference held on Friday at FUFA Complex, the gaffer left no room for doubt about the team’s objectives. She emphasized the need for an aggressive approach, highlighting the necessity of scoring at least two goals while keeping a clean sheet to overturn the deficit.

The stakes are high, and Botes understands the magnitude of the task ahead.

“As we are going into the second leg, we were well prepared. We have worked on the mistakes that we encountered during the first game and we believe the team can overturn this score,” she stated.

The first-leg defeat in Lusaka’s National Heroes Stadium was undoubtedly a setback, but it has only fueled the Teen Cranes’ resolve to rise above adversity. With meticulous preparation and strategic planning, Coach Botes has instilled a sense of purpose in her players, emphasizing the importance of unity and resilience on the field.

“The girls have been given the confidence
that we can change turn this around. They know that we believe that. And as a technical team, we’ve done everything in our power now to put a good team out there tomorrow so that we can go and be able to score more goals tomorrow.” Botes added.

Key to the team’s aspirations is captain, Desire Katisi Natooro, whose leadership qualities and optimism are pivotal in boosting team morale.

Natooro, echoing her coach’s sentiments, expressed hope for the best possible outcome in the upcoming match. Her unwavering belief in the team’s abilities is emblematic of the spirit that drives the Teen Cranes forward.

“The mood is high, we are ready for tomorrow’s game,” Commented Desire before adding, “With the coaching strategies, we are good to go. The whole team is in good shape and we hope to get better results against Zambia tomorrow.”

The road to World Cup qualification demands not only skill and determination but also a profound sense of national pride. For these young athletes, representing Uganda on the international stage is both an honor and a responsibility. The prospect of earning a spot in the U17 Women’s World Cup is the ultimate goal.

The match will be played on Friday 17th May 2024 at St Mary’s Stadium-Kitende, kickoff at 4pm and free entrance for all fans.

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