Paul Mucureezi Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • CHAN 2018 Qualifiers (1st Round, 2nd Leg):
  • Uganda Cranes 5-1 South Sudan (Agg: 5-1)
[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes line-up vs. South Sudan Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Big moments are reserved for big occasions.

First half substitute Paul Mucureezi starred with a comprehensive individual performance on his national team debut, scoring four goals as Uganda Cranes whitewashed South Sudan 5-1 in the CHAN 2018 qualifier on Saturday.

The Ntungamo born striker, who features for KCCA Football Club was in scintillating form after his introduction in the 36th minute.

Club mate Derrick Nsibambi opened the flood gates with a well taken header three minutes after the half hour mark off a telling delivery from overlapping right back, Nico Wakiro Wadada.

[/media-credit] Derrick Nsibambi heads home the opening goal on the day before he got the head injury Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The goal hero picked up a concussion after colliding with the advancing goalkeeper Khamis Daniel Dak.

There were virtually no celebrations on the field of play for the goal scored as medics led by Ivan Ssewanyana and Ronald Kisolo rushed to save the pint sized center forward.

Before the strike, South Sudan had twice threatened with James Moga’s long range shots, one landing straight to the palms of goalkeeper Ismael Watenga, and the other flying over the bar.

Mucureezi swiftly rewarded coach Micho’s faith with a clinical finish  off Moses Waiswa’s defence splitter past the diving lanky shot stopper for the second two minutes to the mandatory half time break.

[/media-credit] Paul Mucureezi finishes for Uganda Cranes’ second goal on the evening Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The half time score read 2-0 as the two team players returned to the locker rooms.

The KCCA man returned with a more aggressive approach in the second stanza of the game. A long ball from Isaac Muleme was well followed by Milton Karisa who assisted Mucureezi’s second three minutes after re-start.

The hat-trick for the man of the moment arrived in the 53rd minute following a defensive howler by the goalie off Muzamiru Mutyaba’s perfectly chipped corner.

He wrapped up the icing on the cake in the 57th minute, this time round the assist coming from another debutant Shafiq Kagimu.

[/media-credit] Shafiq Kagimu dribbles past South Sudan’s Daniel Boki Oliver Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

South Sudan’s Farouq Tajedin was the only player booked in the entire match, following a malicious foul on left back Isaac Muleme.

Lanky striker Khamis Leon Uso pulled a goal back at the death of the match.

Uganda Cranes thus progress to the second round of the qualifiers where CECAFA’s most successful country will face Rwanda in August 2017 over the two legs.

[/media-credit] Muzamir Mutyaba, Paul Mucureezi celebrate a goal for the Uganda Cranes against South Sudan Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Rwanda advanced on away goal’s rule over Tanzania after a goal-less draw in the return leg.

The eventual winner of the second round tie will qualify for the final tournament in Kenya come 2018.

Uganda has previously played at the CHAN Tournament on three occasions in 2012, 2014 and lately 2016.

The Championship of African Nations (CHAN) football tournament is only reserved for the locally based players who ply their trade in domestic leagues of the respective countries.

[/media-credit] South Sudan line-up vs. Uganda Cranes Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Reactions:

Paul Mucureezi

I thank God for this achievement, to score on my debut for the national team. I asked for a goal, he gave me four. I am really happy

Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic:

This is the end of the journey from 1st July 2017 over the two legs. We picked up the pieces well after a goalless draw in Sudan. I will announce something in the next 48 hours. Thank you so much Uganda.

Robert Wulube:

I am happy to be back in Uganda. The home team was superior.

We are inexperienced

[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes head coach, Micho smiles in the dug out at Lugogo during the first half Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Uganda Cranes XI: Ismael Watenga (GK), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Isaac  Muleme, Savio Kabugo, Timothy Awanyi, Benard Muwanga, Milton Kariisa, Moses Waiswa (77’ Tom Masiko), Derrick Nsibambi (36’ Paul Mucureezi), Muzamiru Mutyaba (61’ Simon Sserunkuma), Shafiq Kagimu

Subs not used: Saidi Keni (GK), Paul Musamali, Nicholas Kasozi, Geoffrey Sserunkuma

South Sudan XI: Khamis Daniel Dak (G.K), Yassir  Khemis Cellestin, Abdu Awad Lemi, Salah Abubakar, David Omot Sebit, Peter Chol Bentiu, Robert Wurube Lopidia, Sebit Ajak Bol (60′ Farouq Tajedin), Daniel Oliver Boki (Joseph Celestino Oyuru), Leon Khamis Uso, James Joseph Saeed (71′ Stephen John Samson)

Subs Not used: Joseph Robert Adu (G.K), James Anei Mateil, Emmanuel Thomas Lumari, John Albino

[/media-credit] Match Officials and captains for either countries. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Match Officials:

Center Referee: Elly Ally Sasii (Tanzania)

1st Assistant Referee: Josephat Deu Bulali (Tanzania)

2nd Assistant Referee: John Longino Kanyenye (Tanzania)

Reserve Referee: Israel Omusingi Njunwa Mujuni (Tanzania)

Match Commissioner: Muhsin Ali Rajab (Zanzibar)

Referees Assessor: Yohannes Ghirmai (Eritrea)

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

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