AFCON 2019 Qualifiers (Group L):
- Cape Verde 0-1 Uganda Cranes
- Tanzania 1-1 Lesotho
Uganda Cranes cast aside the travel hitches and registered a hard fought 1-0 victory away to Cape Verde in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Delays in departing from Dakar, Senegal prompted CAF to postpone the fixture by 24 hours as it was moved from Saturday to Sunday.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma scored the lone goal as Uganda ascended to the top of Group L at the Estadio da Varzea in Praia on Sunday.
The second half substitute who replaced Emmanuel Okwi was well stationed to tap home a teasing low ball from Gor Mahia left back Godfrey Walusimbi 7 minutes from time.
The veteran center forward galvanized a splendid performance away from home and inspire the Uganda Cranes to a promising start of the campaign code named ‘Project Cameroon 2019’
Earlier, the Cranes missed taking the lead through Miya who was denied by goalie Vozinha’s reflex from close range after a Walusimbi cut back.
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević named three forwards spearheaded by KCCA forward Derrick Nsibambi, Royal Excel Mouscron’s Faruku Miya and SC Villa striker Emmanuel Okwi.
Mamelodi Sundowns first choice goalie Denis Onyango started in goal with SC Villa’s Bernard Muwanga and Simba’s Murushid Jjuuko pairing in the central defence.
Nicholas Wadada and Godfrey Walusimbi started as the two full backs on the right and left respectively.
Serbia-based midfielder Khalid Aucho and Hassan Wasswa Mawanda of Lebanese top flight side Njimeh were deployed as the two central midfielders.
The first half produced no clear-cut goal scoring opportunities for the two sides in a poorly attended match.
At the onset of the second half, Vipers’ forward Milton Karisa replaced Isaac Muleme who started on the left attack wing.
The home side made a double change 14 minutes into the second stanza with Ryan Mendes coming on for Júlio Tavares and Marco Soares paving way for Héldon Ramos.
Uganda’s final change was the withdrawal of forward Nsibambi for defensive shield Denis Timothy Awany right at the death of the game.
Okwi and Jjuuko were the two booked Uganda Cranes players for unlawful tackles.
Cape Verde’s defender Valley was also cautioned for felling down Karisa in the 78th minute.
Uganda Cranes now ascend aloft of Group L with the crucial three points away from home. Tanzania and Lesotho are second and third respectively having played to a one all draw in Dar es salaam on Saturday.
The next round of the qualifiers will be played on 23rd March, 2018. Uganda Cranes will play host to East African rivals Tanzania as Lesotho entertains Cape Verde in Maseru.
The contingent flies back to the country early Tuesday morning.
Team Line ups:
Cape Verde XI: Vozinha (G.K), Tiago Almeida, Carlitos, Vally, Gege, Marcos Soares (59’ Ryan Mendes), Jamiro (76’ Helder), Garry Rodrigues, Ponck, Ze Luis, Julio Tavares (59’ Heldon)
Subs Not Used: Babanco, Kevin Oliveira
Head coach: Lúcio Antunes
Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (GK) (C), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Bernard Muwanga, Murushid Jjuuko, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Khalid Aucho, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (78′ Geofrey Sserunkuma), Derrick Nsibambi (94′ Denis Timothy Awany) and Isaac Muleme (46′ Milton Karisa)
Subs Not Used: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Isma Watenga (GK), Denis Okot, Robert Kaketo, Muhammad Shaban
Head coach: Milutin Sredejovic