Three first half goals were enough to earn Libya victory over Uganda and hand Micho a forgettable welcome as Cranes coach on Saturday.

The hosts dominated proceedings in the first half and went up through Muhammad Ali Ganudi following careless goal keeping by stand in skipper Abel Dhaira who failed to tame what appeared a simple ball. Twenty minutes later, Abubaker Fabid doubled the hosts’ lead before Faisal Al Badr converted from 12 yards to make it 3-0 following a controversial decision from Tunisian referee who judged Ivan Bukenya to have trickled down the Libyan forward in the forbidden area. The hosts dominated the centre of the pack with Musa Mudde and Moses Oloya putting up abysmal performances.

After recess, Micho made three changes bringing on Hassan Wasswa, Said Kyeyune and Dan Sserunkuma for Musa Mudde, Moses Oloya and Henry Kisekka respectively and somehow the team regained confidence and started to fight for possession with opponents unlike in the first half. With an hour gone, the Serb made more changes bringing on Nicholas Wadada for Israel Emuge, Herman Wasswa for Luwagga Kizito and Alex Kakuba for Joseph Ochaya in search for at least a consolation but the Mediterranean Knights stood still.

Joseph Mpande and Savio Kabugo also got late run ins coming on for Hamis Kiiza and Ivan Bukenya respectively but there was no change to the score line till the final whistle.

Micho followed in the footsteps of his three predecessors who failed to win their maiden game at the helm of the Cranes. Mohammed Abbas lost 0-1 at home to South Africa in 2005, Csaba Laszlo drew 0-0 with Rwanda and Bobby Williamson lost 1-3 away to Niger.

Like Micho, it was the first cap for Israel Emuge, William Luwagga Kizito, Herman Wasswa and Alex Kakuba. Of the team that travelled, only goal keepers Ali Kimera, Denis Onyango and young defender Richard Kasagga didn’t get a run in.

Cranes play Liberia next Saturday in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

Uganda Cranes Line Up: Abel Dhaira (cpt), Denis Guma, Ivan Bukenya, Israel Emuge (Wadada Nicholas), Joseph Ochaya (Alex Kakuba), Musa Mudde (Hassan Wasswa), Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito, Moses Oloya (Said Kyeyune), Henry Kisekka (Dan Sserunkuma), Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza and William Luwagga Kizito (Herman Wasswa)

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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