Two goals in each half from Reticia Nabbosa and Fauzia Najjemba were what Uganda needed to gain an advantage over Ethiopia in the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers.
In a game played at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, Nabbosa put the hosts forward just after two minutes.
Operating from the midfield,Nabbosa composed herself to slot the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Balcha Bargena Tarikua after a cross from the left flank by Sumaya Komuntale.
Despite leading the game very early, the Uganda Crested Cranes however looked stagnant for the better part of the half.
The Ethiopian ladies enjoyed a lot of possession in the middle of the pitch and cut off supply to Uganda’s front duo of Sandra Nabweteme and Hasifah Nassuna.
And as the Ugandans were still negotiating with the failure to control the midfield, coach George Lutalo was forced to make an early substitution introducing Shamirah Naluggya for goal scorer Nabbosa.
The Lady Doves FC player limped off with an injury towards the half hour mark with an injury.
Moments later, the visitors made themselves visible when Senaf Wakuma Demise had a shot inside the goal area saved by Uganda’s goalkeeper Ruth Aturo before defender Shadia Nankya blocked Medina Awol Busser’s shot for a corner-kick well saved.
After realizing how ineffective both Nabweteme and Nassuna were, Lutalo replaced them with Juliet Nalukenge and Sheebah Zalwango respectively a few minutes into the second half.
Nalukenge announced her arrival as soon she arrived. She started troubling the backline of the away team but couldn’t turn her runs into goals.
However, through a superb cross from Zalwango, Fauzia Najjemba calmly headed in Uganda’s second goal in the 76th minute.
After winning 2-0, goalkeeper and skipper Ruth Aturo and her colleagues hope to complete the job in Addis Ababa while Ethiopia will be playing for a revenge.
The two sides meet again on October 26, 2021 with the winner of the tie likely to face Kenya who molested South Sudan 8-0 on Wednesday.
How they lined up:
Uganda Crested Cranes XI: Ruth Aturo (G.K), Sumaya Komuntale, Asia Nakibuuka, Shadia Nankya, Viola Namuddu, Margret Kunihira, Sandra Nabweteme, Hasfa Nassuna, Joan Nabirye, Fauzia Najjemba, Riticia Nabbosa
Subs: Daisy Nakaziro (G.K), Juliet Nalukenge, Phoebe Banura, Sharon Nadunga, Shamirah Nalugya, Sheebah Zalwango
Ethiopia XI: Balcha Bargena Tarikua (G.K), Meskerem Kanko, Asfaw Ember Adisu, Medina Awol Busser, Loza Abera Geinore (Captain), Kalsa Mekonnen Aregash, Nardos Getenet, Buwoli Hiwot Denegiso, Birra Wakuma Demise, Hasabe Musa Gila
Subs: Emiwesh Yirashewa Alemayhu, Eden Shiferaw, Tizita Hmikael Wimeskel, Senayt Bogale Boyzo, Rediet Assresahagn Matios, Mesay Temesgen Tanga, Alemnesh Geremew Asefa
Referee: Josephine Wanjiku (Kenya)
Assistant Referee 1: Carolyne Kiles (Kenya)
Assistant Referee 2: Jane Cherono (Kenya)
Fourth official: Carolyne Wanjala (Kenya)
Commissioner: Angelique Tuyishime (Rwanda)