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Uganda Cranes pip Buganda Masaza Select Team in practice match

Uganda Cranes nicked a hard fought 2-1 win over Buganda Masaza Select Team on Friday in a practice game played at Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium,Wakiso.

A goal in either half from Captain of the day Farouk Miya and substitute Sharif Ssaka guided the Cranes to victory.

Farouk Miya vies for the ball against Buganda Masaza Select players.

Buganda Masaza Select Team got their consolation at the start of the second half through Abdallah Ssentongo.

In a closely contested encounter, Uganda Cranes made a cautious approach at the start with the Buganda Masaza Select Team asking questions to the delight of a sizeable crowd that came out to watch the game.

However, it was the National Team that got the first attempt at goal two minutes after kickoff but Martin Kizza fired into the side net.

Joseph Marvin Youngman shields the ball away from his opponent.

On the other hand, Buganda Masaza Select Team made several inroads but lacked the much required calmness to break Uganda Cranes’ backline.

It was Miya who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Moses Aliro’s well delivered cross found him unmarked inside the area and he did no mistake to fire home.

Farouk Miya (in white) gave Uganda Cranes the lead.

Hakim Kiwanuka nearly doubled Uganda Cranes lead six minutes later when he beat his man for pace on the left flank but the attempt from outside the box went a few inches off target.

Hakim Kiwanuka attempts to shoot.

There was another chance for Uganda Cranes before the break off a quick break but Kiwanuka’s cross was too early for Kizza who was arriving at the far post.

At the end of the second half, coach Milutin Sredojevic made changes bringing on a new team.

Denis Otim, Brian Mato, Derrick Ndahiro, Ronald Owing, Steven Namisi, Sabir Andama, Francis Odongo, Emmanuel Mukisa, Clinton Komugisha, Sharif Saaka and Ezra Kaye all came on.

Three minutes upon restart, Ssentongo rose high to node home a well delivered corner kick by Ben Nakibinge’s to level matters.

Substitute Saaka helped Uganda Cranes to regain their lead powering home a header off a perfect cross from Brian Mato.

Uganda Cranes made a forced substitution with goalkeeper Otim brought off after sustaining an injury. He was replaced by Jeans Wokorach.

With 4 minutes to the end of the game, midfielder Francis Odongo was sent off for a second bookable offence but the Cranes held on to win the game.

The coach was impressed with the performance of the team and indicated the Buganda Masaza Select Team gave his charges a good test.

“It was a good test for the team. We faced a team that really put up a spirited fight. There were positives picked and I hope we can keep improving. Some of the players were making their first appearance for the National Team but they showed great character.” He said.

Uganda Cranes will now shift focus to Saturday (tomorrow) where they play another build up game against the Kampala Region Select Team at St. Mbaga Major Seminary.

Uganda Cranes Starting XI
Nafian Alionzi(GK), James Begisa Mpenza, Abdul Aziizi Kayondo, Joseph Bright Vuni, Musa Ramathan, Joseph Youngman, Hakim Kiwanuka, Farouk Miya (C), Martin Kizza, Moses Aliro

Denis Otim, Jeans Wokorach, Brian Mato, Derrick Ndahiro, Ronald Owing, Steven Namisi, Sabir Andama, Francis Odongo, Emmanuel Mukisa, Clinton Komugisha, Sharif Saaka and Ezra Kaye

Buganda Masaza Select Starting XI
Tonny Atugonza, Abdallah Ssentongo, Gideon Odongo, Arnold Odongo, Godfrey Arijole, Ismail Ramatala, Isaac Musiima, Sharif Ssengendo, Kennedy Kimera, John Ben Nakibinge, Isaac Ofoywroth

Michael Lutaaya, Angelo Kizza, John Kalema, Said Mayanja, Brian Omirambe, Gabriel Eragu, Jovan Mawejje, Joel Opio, Charles Batiibwe, Felix Wafula, Bernard Alijuna, Kenneth Sekalya, Akram Muzanyi

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