Tuesday, March 28
*Tanzania 0-1 Uganda
Group F Table
- Algeria 🇩🇿(Q) – 12pts
- Uganda 🇺🇬 – 4
- Tanzania 🇹🇿 – 4
- Niger 🇳🇪 – 2
Rogers Mato was the unlikely hero as Uganda Cranes finished it late against Taifa Stars of Tanzania.
Mato, off the bench, scored at the death to hand Uganda Cranes a needed 1-0 win at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.
Mato raced behind Tanzania defence after he was put through by Farouk Miya, and the KCCA forward showed composure to finish brilliantly past Tanzania goalkeeper Aisha Manula.
The goal handed Cranes sweet revenge against Tanzania who beat Uganda by the same scoreline on Friday in Ismailia.
And the result might prove a turning point for Uganda Cranes in their journey to Qualify for AFCON due next year in Ivory Coast.
The Cranes move joint second, level on four Points and similar goal difference with the Taifa Stars in Group F where Algeria has already booked a ticket to AFCON.
A defeat in Tanzania would have ended Uganda’s chances, but with Algeria at home and a trip to face Niger, Uganda Cranes can dream again.
Mato Lightens Dull Affair
It was all dull before the late drama in Dar.
And the major highlight before was the lighting failure that caused the game to be halted for over half an hour inside the first half.
The game was paused around the 37th minute, with the Ivorian Referee Ibrahim Kalilou Traore sent the players to their respective Technical benches in what was initially thought to be a cooling break.
But after the extended break, it was established that the Match officials had deemed the floodlights were not bright enough to let the game continue.
Players returned on the pitch while the problem was investigated and the Match officials were seen holding discussions with the respective coaches about the way forward.
Play later resumed despite less improvement on the lighting, and there was no improvement on the performance and the game was on course for a goalless draw.
The game lacked quality and was characterised by fewer chances.
And the first half was littered with a couple of start-stops as either side struggled to produce moments to savour.
Tanzania looked a shadow of themselves from the side that beat Cranes last Friday, with Ally Mbwana Samatta’s long drive which went over the bar, the only time they threatened Cranes goal the entire half.
Cranes chances were also few and apart, Joseph Ochaya had his header deflected while TZ goalkeeper Manula cane out of his goal to keep out a beat delivery from Richard Basangwa.
Miya, on for Mugulusi in the dying minutes, threaded a neat through ball that freed Mato who slotted in at the far post.
The goal sparked wild celebrations especially at the bench where Coach Micho ran in disbelief alongside his captain Emmanuel Okwi.
And it was a little too late for Tanzania to find an equal.
Tanzania – Aisha Manula, Dickson Job, Mohammed Hussein, Novatus Dismas, Ibrahim Bacca, Himid Mao, Simon Msuva, Mzamiru Yassin, Mudathir Yahya, Mbwana Samatta, Abdul Suleiman
Uganda – Salim Jamal, Kenneth Ssemakula, Aziz Kayondo, Halid Lwaliwa, Timothy Awany, Khalid Aucho, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi, Richard Basangwa, Emmanuel Okwi, Joseph Ochaya