Wednesday, October 20
*Uganda Vs Ethiopia – 4pm
Uganda women’s National team, the Crested Cranes, play host to Ethiopia on Wednesday in the first leg of the first round of the qualifiers of the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
The winner over two legs will face either Kenya or South Sudan for a place in next year’s AWCON in Morocco.
The Crested Cranes prepared for these ties with a recent participation in COSAFA Women Championship in South Africa.
“Cosafa was important because it helped us understand where we stand,” Crested Cranes coach George Lutalo said on Monday.
“We got to know where we stand and have rectified our errors. My players are in good shape and ready to go.”
Uganda finished second behind Zambia in Group C to miss a semifinal ticket at COSAFA but Lutalo boosted that squad with a couple of Women U20 National team that beat Kenya Rising Starlets in the World Cup Qualifies and Lutalo said that these additions bring a “different dimension to the team.”
Ethiopia Confident Nonetheless
Ethiopia’s national team, the Lucy, arrived in Uganda on Monday and have been staying at the Silver Springs Hotel.
They held a warm up session at the Hotel before one at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende on Tuesday 4pm.
Coach Berhanu Gizaw stated that the team is in good shape and healthy to face Uganda amidst some challenges.
Some of the highlighted challenges include the fact that their local competitions ended a long time and so the girls have not had match time in recent memory.
Ethiopia Football Federation was not in position to get the National team some friendly matches.
Only players from Ethiopia Commercial Bank have had some good minutes after their adventures at the CECAFA Women Club Competitions where they lost to Kenya’s Vihiga Queens who booked a ticket to CAF Women’s Champions League.
The side will be captained by experienced player Losa Abera.
History Against Crested Cranes
Uganda are in quest for their second appearance at the Africa Women Cup of Nations Finals.
They got their first ever ticket in 2000 when they qualified after opponents DR Congo withdrew from the qualifiers, and the Crested Cranes marched on to the finals held in South Africa.
Women U20 assistant coach Olivier Mbekeka is one of the players who represented Uganda at the tourney then, as Uganda finished third in Group A with only one win against Reunion.
Uganda were beaten by Kenya 1-0 on aggregate in the 2018 Qualifiers while the 2020 tournament was not held due to Covid19.
Ethiopia on the other hand, have been at AWCON three times including in 2004 when they finished fourth.
They beat Uganda to qualify for the 2002 finals held in Nigeria and returned to the stage in 2012 as well.
Ethiopia’s head to head record against Uganda in recent memory favours the former.
Uganda won the last meeting 1-0, Fauzia Najjemba on target, in the CECAFA Cup at the Chamazi Stadium in Dar Es Salaam in November 2019.
Earlier that year, Ethiopia had knocked out Uganda 4-2 on aggregate (3-2 in Ethiopia and 1-0 at Lugogo) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Qualifiers.
In 2016, Ethiopia rolled over Uganda 4-1 during the CECAFA Women Championship in Njeru.
Uganda Probable Lineup – Ruth Aturo, Viola Namuddu, Phoebe Banura, Asia Nakibuuka, Shadia Nankya, Shamirah Nalugya, Riticia Nabbosa, Hasifa Nassuna, Juliet Nalukenge, Sandra Nabweteme, Resty Nanziri
How To Watch – The match will be broadcast live on UBC tv