2019 CECAFA Women’s Challenge Cup
- Group B
- Uganda 1-0 Ethiopia
- Kenya 12-0 Djibouti
Forward Fauzia Najjemba scored the lone goal as Uganda Women’s football national team secured a hard-fought win against Ethiopia to extend their perfect start at the 2019 CECAFA Women’s Challenge Cup.
The Crested Cranes registered their second win in as many games after overcoming Ethiopia in the game played on Tuesday at Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania a result that saw them seal a berth in the semifinals.
Najjemba, a student at Mukono High scored the all-important goal in the 74th minute to hand Uganda maximum points in a closely contested affair.
Coach Farida Bulega made no changes from the team that won 13-0 against minnows Djibouti.
Uganda got better scoring chances in the game but lacked efficiency especially in the opening stanza.
Striker Juliet Nalukenge got the first chance of the game in the 5th minute when she attempted from outside the area after a counter-attack but her shot was easily collected by goalkeeper Abayinesh Beyoro.
She once again got another chance to open the scores ten minutes later but this time round fired wide.
Hasifa Nassuna, Zaina Namuleme, and Fazila Ikwaput too had chances but they failed to find the target.
The best chance for Ethiopia fell to Almenesh Geremew at the stroke of halftime when Crested Cranes goalkeeper Ruth Aturo moved off her line and the striker calmly slotted past the onrushing shot-stopper but her effort went a few inches off target.
In the second half, Bulega made changes introducing Margaret Kunihira and Shamira Nalugya for Namuleme and Ikwaput respectively.
The decisive moment of the game came with 15 minutes to time when Najjemba picked the ball outside the box, beat Weldemeskel Tizita for pace before firing into the top right corner with her weaker left foot.
Victory against the Lucy of Ethiopia meant the Crested Cranes earned sweet revenge against a team that eliminated them from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers.
Uganda joins Kenya as the two teams that have qualified for the semifinals from group B. Kenya Harambe Starlets outwitted Djibouti 12-0 to also register their second win.
In group A, hosts and defending champions also qualified to the next stage but the battle for the second slot is between South Sudan and Burundi who face off on Wednesday.
The Crested Cranes will return to action on Thursday to face Kenya in a game that will determine who tops group B.
Crested Cranes Starting XI
Ruth Aturo, Viola Namuddu, Asia Nakibuuka, Bridget Nabisaalu, Shadia Nankya, Reticia Nabbosa, Zaina Namuleme, Hasifa Nassuna, Juliet Nalukenge, Fauzia Najjemba, Fazila Ikwaput
Daizy Nakaziro, Joan Namusisi, Eunice Ariokot, Grace Aluka, Aisha Namukisa, Harriet Nakkuba, Amina Nababi, Margaret Kunihira, Shamira Nalugya
Ethiopia Starting XI
Abayinesh Beyoro, Estsegenet Bizuneh, Alemnesh Geremew, Tiruanchi Mengesha, Meskerem Kanko, Hiwot Dengiso, Ware Birkukan, Emebet Adisu, Gemene Worku, Erehima Zegera, Senayte Bogale
Amiwedsh Yirgashewa, Yukura Tarikuwa, Nardos Getenet, Demise Senaf, Tadesse Aregash, Weldemeskel Tizita, Haydebo Genete