International Friendly Match: Zimbabwe 2-0 Uganda

Uganda Cranes will approach their crucial AFCON 2017 group D qualifier against Botswana with plenty of questions to answer.

A 2-0 loss to the Zimbabwe Warriors on the astro turf of Rufaro Stadium in the Mbare township of Harare City during the international build up match will definitely give coach Milutin Sredojevic something to work on.

Towering Zimbabwe defender Tennage Hadebe who plays for Harare Chicken Inn football club was the chief tormentor with two powerfully headed first half goals.

Orlando Pirates midfielder, Yassar Mugerwa sandwiched during the opening half

The first strike came as early as the 4th minute off Kudakwashe Mahach’s corner from the left. Evans Rusike had an attempt fly over the bar from 20 yards in the 10th minute.

Werder Bremen forward Melvyen Lorezen would have put Uganda level but his attempt was blocked for a corner by Elisha Muroyiwa at the quarter hour mark.

Emmanuel Okwi and team captain Geofrey Massa react after conceding the second goal

Hassan Wasswa tested goalie Tatenda Mukuruva with a long range effort, but missed target narrowly. Minutes later Lorenzen released Luwagga on the right who was blocked by Hadebe.

By the 32nd minute, the hosts had doubled the goal advantage. A totally unmarked Hadebe doubled the lead with a powerful header past Odongkara.

Goalkeeper Robert Odongkara lays the ball in the path of second half substitute, Joseph Ochaya

Melvyen hit the woodwork with a great curl before Iguma got booked for a dangerous foul.

Micho called for three changes as the second half unfolded.

Tonny Mawejje, Aucho Khalid and Joseph Ochaya replaced Yassar Mugerwa, Lorenzen and defender Isaac Isinde respectively.

This meant Ochaya took the left back role, Walusimbi was drifted upfront and Hassan Wasswa Mawanda came to center back.

Tonny Mawejje ascended to captaincy when Massa was withdrawal for Idris Lubega

Ten minutes after the change, Ochaya had a free-kick tipped over the bar for a fruit-less corner. On the hour mark, tennager Edris Lubega replaced Geofrey Massa, Rayon Sport striker Davis Kasirye came in for William Luwagga Kizito and Emmanuel Okwi paved way for Erisa Ssekisambu.

The entire stadium was treated to defeaning cheers when PSL player of the year, Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns replaced Kudakwashe Mahach with two minutes to go.

At one moment, Billiat teased Aucho with fancy step overs, though the Gor Mahia midfielder stood firm. Lubega headed wide a curling corner from Ochaya and Kasirye shoot over in some of the nervy moments for Zimbabwe as the game neared a climax.

Uganda Cranes striker, Emmanuel Okwi with a drive to the opposition zone

The final whistle from FIFA referee Norman Matemera sprung wild applause and gate crashing when the fans raced to the playing turf to hug Khama and their favorite stars.

Standard Liege midfieldeFarouk Miya and goalkeeper Denis Onyango missed the game.

Uganda Cranes remains with less than five days to fix the result before the Botswana tie.

Werder Bremen striker Lorenzen Melvyn shields the ball during the match

The Uganda Cranes continue with preparations for the match away to Botswana.

Team Line Ups:

Uganda Cranes XI: Robert Odongkara (G.K), Denis Iguma, Godfrey Walusimbi, Isaac Isinde, Murushid Jjuko, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Luwagga William Kizito, Yassar Mugerwa, Geofrey Massa, Lorenzen Melvyn, Emmanuel Okwi.

Changes: Isaac Isinde Out – Joseph Ochaya On, Yassar Mugerwa Out – Tonny Mawejje On, Melvyn Lorenzen Out – Aucho Khalid On, Geofrey Massa Out – Edris Lubega On, William Luwagga Kizito Out – Davis Kasirye Out, Emmanuel Okwi Out – Erisa Ssekisambu On

Did Not play: Denis Onyango and Faruku Miya

Zimbabwe XI: 

Tatenda Mukuruva (G.K), Blessing Moyo, Bruce Kangwa, Elisha Muroiwa, Teenage Hadebe, Danny Phiri, Kuda Mahachi Andre Gwaze, Marshall Mudehwe, Charlton Mashumba, Evans Rusike

Subs: Marvellous Nakamba, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Obadiah Tarumbwa, Lawrence Mhlanga,Onsimor Bhasera, Farai Madhananga, Donovan Bernard, Khama Billiat, Tapiwa Chilenga

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think