Cecillia Kamuli celebrates with the coaches and her teammates after saving a penalty kick (Credit: John Batanudde)

FUFA Women Elite Play-offs: Asubo Gafford Ladies 0 (2) – 0 (4) Tooro Queens

Penalty shoot outs during football competitions always produce heroes, heroines and definitely villains.

It was the case at the FUFA Technical Center, Njeru during the FUFA Women Elite League play-offs when Fort Portal based Tooro Queens Women Football Club denied Asubo Gafford Ladies a slot in the top flight of women football in Uganda.

Tooro Queens’ goalkeeper Cecillia Kamuli emerged as the heroine with a penalty save to inspire her club to an emphatic 4-2 during the tense albeit dramatic shoot-out on Monday, 2nd November 2020.

Cecillia Kamuli dives to her right to save a penalty (Credit: John Batanudde)

Normal time of this end to end duel had ended barren with no goals to show per side.

The shoot-out witnessed Sumaya Komuntale, Violet Kyererezi, captain Jolly Kobusinge and Joanita Awembabazi on target for the triumphant Tooro Queens.

Rachael Tukamuhebwa and Diana Nantongo netted for Asubo Gafford Ladies.

Sheeba Zalwango had her shot wide of goal on the left as Nulu Nankyanzi was saved by heroic goalkeeper Kamuli.

During the match proper, Tooro Queens started brilliantly with a goal bound attempt but  right winger Ruth Nyakato was ruled off-side position by the first assistant referee Lydia Wanyama Nantabo inside the opening two minutes.

In the fifth minute, Tooro Queens goalkeeper Cecillia Kamuli was cautioned by FIFA Referee Ronald Madanda for handling the ball outside the goal area.

Divine Mirembe shields off captain Jolly Kobusingye (Credit: John Batanudde)

The resultant free-kick by Nulu Nakyanzi kissed the cross bar in the real first chance for the Kyebando based club.

Tooro Queens answered back as goalkeeper Ngamita reacted off her goal line to collect the ball as Joanita Awembabazi kept chase.

On the quarter hour mark, Joan Jovan Nagayi shot over the Tooro Queens’ goal posts from 20 yards.

There was a real threat at the Tooro Queens goal when Mariana Nakato watched in disbelief when her goal bound shot was headed out on the goal line by defender Ciccy Kabarwani on 20 minutes.

Shakira Mutibwa and Jamillah Nabulime of Tooro Queens fight for the ball during the final (Credit: John Batanudde)

Four minutes later, Nakyanzi had a left footed shot from over 30 yards easily dealt with by Tooro Queens goalkeeper Kamuli.

The first water break in the sunny conditions came on the half hour mark.

Three minutes after the re-start of play, Sumaya Komuntale had a distant free-kick easily picked by Gafford goalkeeper Ngamita.

Ngamita made a save, parrying off for a corner-kick a dangerous free-kick by Winnie Babirye from 20 yards.

Nyakato shot straight at goalkeeper Ngamita after breaking through with six minutes to wrap up the opening stanza.

Tooro Queens players and officials celebrate their success (Credit: John Batanudde)

Tooro Queens started well when Awembabazi forced a save from goalkeeper  Ngamita  moments after restart.

The resultant corner-kick caused a goal melee but Asubo Gafford Ladies defended gallantly.

Ten minutes into the second half, Asubo Gafford’s Sheebah Zalwango had a free-kick from distance fly high and over the goal posts.

After an hour of action, Tooro Queens called for the first change of the game when Nyakato was rested for Mary Kabaculezi.

Five minutes later, Joanita Awembabazi with a lung bursting run on the right. Her cross was well tamed by goalkeeper Ngamita.

Asubo Gafford Ladies pulled out Mariam Nakato for Divine Mirimbe with 15 minutes to play.

At this moment, the second official water break was called to quench off the thirst in the sunny weather.

Tooro Queens players carry aloft their coach Rogers Ayesiga after the victory (Credit: John Batanudde)

With 7 minutes to end the match veteran Babirye was granted rest for the fresh leg of Slyvia Kempango for Tooro Queens.

Tooro Queens’ goalkeeper Kamuli recovered from a heavy knock to solider on for the closing minutes of the well balanced game.

Resty Kobusobozi flipped the ball over the Asubo Gafford Ladies goalkeeper Ngamita but the touch was too heavy as it flew over inside the goal area.

In the final minute of the game, Asubo Gafford Ladies introduced goalkeeper Elise Najjemba for Ngamita, possibly preparing for the shoot-out.

The Fort Portal girls emerged winners 4-2 with Kamuli saving one as the other was blasted wide.

Sheeba Zalwango holds the head in disbelief after blasting wide her kick (Credit: John Batanudde)

Excited Tooro Queens players and officials engulfed Kamuli as they chanted victory songs, others mocking their opponents, Gafford Ladies who had ironically refered to them as “villagers” in the run to the finale.

Tooro Queens join Isra Academy and Makerere University Ladies who had earlier qualified to FUFA the Women Super League.

Asubo Gafford XI (Credit: John Batanudde)

Team Line Ups:

Asubo Gafford Ladies XI: Zualika Ngamita (G.K – 1), Mariana Nakato (13), Patricia Namuli (4), Miriam Nakayiwa (3), Rachael Tukamuhebwa (20), Diana Nantongo (12), Joan Jovan Nagayi (14), Shakira Mutibwa (10), Sheeba Zalwango (8), Nulu Nakyanzi (16), Janet Apolot (7)

Subs: Else Najjemba (18), Divine Mirembe (6)

Officials: Steffan Kisakye Wabwire (Head coach), Samuel Lubega (Assistant coach), Noeline Nakabuye (Team doctor), Henry Barungi (Fitness coach)

Tooro Queens XI (Credit: John Batanudde)

FC Tooro Queens XI: Cecillia Kamuli (30), Violet Kyererezi (6), Jolly Kobusinge (3), Ciccy Kabarwani (15), Jamillah Nabulime (17), Winnie Babirye (10), Joanita Awembabazi (18), Sumaya Komuntale (14),Resty Kobusobozi (9), Ruth Nyakato (7), Maggie Kayima (19)

Subs: Dianah Kirungi (1), Stellah Basemera (16), Jenniffer Katusabe (13), Jeninga Awadifo (21), Mary Kabaculezi (12), Slyvia Kempango (20)

Officials: Rogers Ayesiga (Head coach), Solomon Nyakairu (Coach), Douglas Kahuma (Manager).

Match Officials:

Referee: Ronald Madanda

Assistant Referee 1: Lydia Nantabo Wanyama

Assistant Referee 2: Jane Mutonyi

Fourth official: Mashood Ssali

Referees Assessor: Owek. Amin Bbosa

Tooro Queens head coach Rigers Ayesiga shouts to the skies in celebrations (Credit: John Batanudde)

We have worked hard to achieve this. Qualifying to the FUFA Women Super League has always been a dream. The players, management, coaches and our fans all worked for it. I am very excited.

Rogers Ayesiga, head coach Tooro Queens Women Football Club

It is hard luck. I thank the players for the spirit. We shall build afresh for fresh challenges. That is football.

Steffan Kisakye Wabwire, head coach Asubo Gafford Ladies

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

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