The Uganda Crested Cranes has defeated Ethiopia 2-0 in the Total Energies Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers – AWCON qualifier match played at the St. Mary’s stadium in Kitende
Goals from Riticia Nabbosa and Fauzia Najjemba in each half helped the Crested Cranes to secure a first-leg advantage over the Ethiopians.
The Crested Cranes dominated play in the opening minutes of the game as Nabbosa put Uganda in the lead in the second minute of the game after immense pressure from the left flank with a cross coming from Sumaya Komuntale.
Uganda continued searching for more goals with threats from star striker Sandra Nabweteme however she failed to score past Ethiopian custodian Tarikuwa Bargena.
The crested Cranes however lost control of the game and the visitors dominated the possession almost the rest of half time.
Before half time, Uganda got a forced substitution after goal scorer Nabbosa went off limping and she was replaced by Shamira Nalugya.
Ethiopia used this as an advantage to continue dominating the game.
However, despite several threats from Ethiopia’s captain Loza Abera, the Ethiopians failed to score past Uganda’s custodian Ruth Aturo.
In the second half, Ethiopia continued putting Uganda on pressure in a bid to level the game but Uganda’s defense commanded by Asia Nakibuuka was smart enough to deny the visitors an equalizer.
In the 76th minute, striker Najjemba netted the second goal for Uganda. Towards full time, Uganda missed a chance to score the third goal when Juliet Nalukenge failed to finish off Margret Kunihira’s cross.
Crested Cranes Head Coach George Lutalo revealed that the tie is yet to get done because there is a second leg in Ethiopia.
He said the two goals are not enough to compete the encounter, adding that they will need to score more goals in Ethiopia.
Berhanu Gizaw , head coach Ethiopia said his team lacked concentration and ended up conceding goals. He however said they are hoping to overturn the results in the second leg.
The return leg will come six days later in Bahir Dar with the winner on aggregate facing either South Sudan or Kenya at the final qualification hurdle