Monday, July 5
*Saudi Arabia 2-0 Uganda
Defeat is a learning opportunity, goes the adage.
Saudi Arabia revealed more work for Coach Morley Byekwaso who saw his side fall 2-0 in the second friendly on Monday.
Abdullah Abdrahman and Hashim Alyami were on target as the two Under-23 teams clashed at Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.
Abdrahman scored with a ferocious effort from inside the area in the 40th minute, and the Kobs failed to mount a comeback before Alyami hammered in a final nail from a flawless counter attack.
The loss comes after the two sides played out a goalless draw on Friday, June 2.
Byekwaso will hope that this results acts as a great learning curve for the Boys, but not affect their confidence ahead of the Cecafa U23 Championship in Ethiopia.
Uganda were the second best in the first stanza but failed to break down the opponents in a second half they dominated.
Striker Steven Mukwala missed an opportunity, Derrick Kakooza’s effort was kept out by the goalkeeper while Julius Poloto, after beating the defence, preferred to dive with a goal at his mercy.
Bobosi Byaruhanga, inside the box, missed a chance to level matters late in the game when he fired an inch wide.
And the Kobs defence was later punished for switching off with an injury time strike by Alyami.
In search for an equaliser, Kobs freekick was well defended by the hosts who broke free on the left wing before a well delivered pass into the box was finished off by Alyami in added time.
Byekwaso may be forced to revise his template after naming the same starting XI from Friday’s first friendly.
The striking line led by Mukwala has not found the net in 180 minutes while the creative department did not do enough.
Players like Salim Abdallah had a good game on the night and might have staked a claim to a starting berth in the team going into Cecafa finals. The Villa youngster provided rhythm and barely put a foot wrong in the midfield.
The victory is a big boost for Saudi Arabia ahead of Olympics in Tokyo where they are grouped alongside Brazi, Germany and Ivory Coast.
For Uganda, they will be expected to leave Saudi Arabia in few days time before the start of the Cecafa U23 Championship that kickoff on July 17, 2021 in Bahir Dar Ethiopia.
Uganda XI – Charles Lukwago (G.K), Enock Walusimbi (Captain), Abdul Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Peter Magambo, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Steven Sserwadda, Saidi Kyeyune, Richard Basangwa, Isma Mugulusi, Steven Mukwala
Substitutes: Hassan Matovu (G.K), Eric Kibowa (G.K), George Kaddu, Najib Yiga, Bright Anukani, Karim Watambala, Samuel Ssenyonjo, Derrick Kakooza, Salim Abdallah, Julius Poloto, Kenneth Ssemakula, Saddam Masereka