Uganda Crested Cranes overcame second half defensive lapses to beat Swaziland 4-3 on their Cosafa Women Championship debut yesterday at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth – South Africa.
With six players not available for selection due to visa delays, coach Faridah Bulega, fielded her Cecafa Championship midfield pair of Tracy Jones Akiror and Phionah Nabbumba as right-back and centreback respectively.
“We have never been to Cosafa so the result is very important for our learning process,” Bulega stated.
“I am pleased with what how we played.
We could have done better but we do not have a full squad,” Bulega, who had only winger Spencer Nakachwa and two goalkeepers on her bench for this Group C tie, added.
Player of the match Hasifa Nassuna opened the scoring for Uganda in the second minute. Norah Alupo made it 2-0 in the 30th minute turning in Zainah Namuleme’s cross from the left after a period of dominance.
At the brink of halftime, Resty Nanziri walked another delivery from makeshift left-back Viola Namuddu past Swaziland goalkeeper Glory Mamba to make it 3-0.
However, after the restart, Swaziland were the better team as they combined pace and power to expose Uganda’s defence. Tenanile Ngcamphalala pulled one back in the 62nd minute after outmuscling Shakira Mutiibwa at the edge of the box.
In the 78th, Celiwe Nkambule made it 2-3 for Eswatini after a long ball from Mamba. Akiror then won a penalty that was converted by eventual player of the match Nassuna to restore the two goal cushion for Uganda.
In stoppage time Cebile Shongwe made it 3-4 for Swaziland, whose coach Fisiwe Hlophe said “there are enough games left for us to recover from this disappointing start.” Uganda play Namibia on Saturday.