Uganda On Cusp Of World Cup Qualifiers Exit After First Leg Loss to Ghana

Saturday, January 22
•Uganda 1-2 Ghana


Uganda lost to Ghana 2-1 in the first leg of the fourth round of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

Salamatu Abdulai and Grace Aminah goals either side of the halftime break condemned Uganda to the edge of World Cup Qualifiers exit.

Fauziah Najjemba’s penalty in the closing stages proved not enough for Uganda in what turned out to be a disappointing evening.

It’s now work cut out for Ayub Khalifa’s charges who need to win 2-0 away in the return leg in two weeks time to overturn the deficit.

Uganda however will feel that they give it their all against an experienced Ghana side that is looking for a sixth straight return to the World Cup due in Costa Rica.

Uganda Huff and Puff

Uganda, cheered on by the home fans who were watching the national team play for the first time in over two years, had a bright start but will rue missed opportunities early into the game.

Najjemba went through on goal to race on Nandago’s pin point pass but was denied by Ghana goalkeeper Konlan Cynthia in the ninth minute.

Salamatu benefited from a poor headed back-pass by Asia Nakibbuka to loop over a helpless Goalkeeper Daphine Nyayenga to put the visitors in front.

But Uganda missed a chance to level when Najjemba’s effort from a tight angle was once against denied by the keeper.

And Uganda offered little in attack thereafter as Ghana took control thanks to their pedigree and possession.

Ghana doubled the lead at restart from Grace Animah’s freekick that proved far away from Nyayenga’s reach.

The introduction of Shamirah Nalugya, who missed the tie against South Africa, pumped more energy into Uganda.

Nalugya saw his freekick forced onto the post and later won a freekick which Nalukembe calmly sent into the roof to halve the deficit.

Ghana lived on borrowed time from thereafter but Uganda could not do enough to find an equaliser. Khalifa was dealt with a huge blow after Najjemba and Aisha Nantongo were stretchered off in injury time.

Ghana who eliminated Mauritania (walkover) and Zambia to reach this stage, will hope to have Skipper Evelyn Badu who was on suspension back for the return leg.

Lineups Used

Uganda XI – Daphine Nyayenga, Sumaya Komuntale, Aisha Nantongo, Catherine Nagadya, Shakira Nyinagahirwa, Samalie Nakachwa, Hadijah Nandago, Fauziah Najjemba, Margret Kunihira, Bira Nadunga, Asia Nakibuuka

Substitutes – Harima Kanyago, Kevin Nakachwa, Shamirah Nakachwa, Shamirah Nalugya, Grace Aluka, Joan Namusisi, Zainah Nandede, Lilian Mutuuzo

Ghana XI – Cynthia Konlan Fiindib, Abena Anoma Opoku, Duah Susan Ama, Louisa Aniwaa, Suzzy Dede Teye, Doris Boaduwaa, Rahama Jafaru, Anasthesia Achiaa, Salamatu Abdulai, Azumah Bugre, Grace Animah

Substitutes – Rebecca Atinga, Monica Addai, Sophaiah Agyaakwa, Afia Nyarko, Zuleiha Fuseini, Grace Banwaa Buoadu, Mafia Nyame


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