International Friendly: Tunisia exposes Uganda Cranes

© Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE
MIya Farouk in action during Uganda vs Congo at Namboole

Tunisia 2-0 Uganda

The basis of international friendly matches is to test the respective sides as a preparatory measure for a future unknown.

Uganda Cranes 2-0 loss to Tunisia at the El Menzah Olympic Stadium will leave lasting impressions ahead of the forth-coming AFCON 2017 finals in Gabon.

Ugandans have surely taken plenty of lessons ranging from varied attacking options, positional discipline, speed on and off the ball as well as the defensive strategies.

Bar the hostile chilly weather, Uganda struggled to play catch up to the fast Tunisians especially in the opening 45 minutes.

It was not long after kickoff before the hosts went ahead.

Hamza Lahmar’s well curled free-kick past Salim Jamal inside the opening 10 minutes gave the Tunisia Cathage Eagles the lead.

Tonny Mawejje had an effort from over 35 yards out that kissed the woodwork and was the best chance for Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side of the first half.

Hamza Mathlouthi penalty shout towards the end of the half was waved after a fair challenge by midfielder Khalid Aucho.

Onto resumption, Uganda conceded in a similar manner when Ali Maaloul delivered a perfect free-kick from the right that Mohamed Ali Yâakoubi headed past KCCA Benjamin Ochan, who had moments earlier replaced Jamal Salim.

Micho tested all the 17 players he presented for the day’s match.

At the start of the second half, Benjamin Ochan replaced Salim Jamal in the goal posts.

Gor Mahia left back Godfrey Walusimbi came in for Tusker’s Shafik Batambuze, Tonny Mawejje paved way for Muzamiru Mutyaba, defender Timothy Denis Awany went on for Isaac Isinde.

Later, Onduparaka striker Muhammad Shaban replaced Yunus Sentamu as the Standard Liege midfielder Faruku Miya replaced Edrisa Lubega.

For the better part of the second half, the Cranes had stabilized and looked the hungrier side.

Shaban and Miya got close and Mutyaba’s glancing header off Miya’s curling corner kissed the woodwork.

Mike Azira, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda and the team captain Geofrey Massa were the Ugandans cautioned by referee Babacar Sarr. Larry Azouni, Ferjani Sassi and Yassine Meriah were the Tunisians booked for unsporting reasons.

The final 23 man squad for the AFCON tournament was named shortly after the game.

Uganda Cranes will fly out of Tunisia for another training camp in Dubai.

Team line ups:

Starting XI: Salim Jamal, Denis Iguma, Shafik Batambuze, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Isaac Isinde, Geofrey Kizito, Tonny Mawejje, Mike Azira, Geofrey Massa, Yunus Sentamu, Edrisa Lubega

Changes: Benjamin Ochan Replaced Salim Jamal, Godfrey Walusimbi Replaced Shafik Batambuze, Muzamiru Mutyaba Replaced Tonny Mawejje,  Timothy Denis Awany Replaced Isaac Isinde, Muhammad Shaban Replaced Yunus Sentamu, Faruku Miya Replaced Edrisa Lubega

Tunisia XI: Balbouli, Mathlouthi, Ben Youssef, Yaakoubi, Maaloul, Azouni, Sassi, Hamza Lahmar, Sliti, Msakni, Khenissi

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