Uganda Cranes had to dig deep to overcome a resolute South Sudan side in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier game played on Thursday at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Second-half substitute Halid Lwaliwa scored the lone goal as the Uganda Cranes edged past the Bright Stars.
The defender replaced Robert Mukiibi who sustained an injury. He jumped high to node home from Faruku Miya’s free-kick, five minutes to time.
Coach Johnathan Mckinstry lauded the players for the spirited fight but indicated the performance wasn’t the best.
“I have always talked about how South Sudan have a good team. Despite the fact that they are an emerging team, they are very compact and play as a unit but I’m happy that we secured maximum points today,” he said.
“The performance is not the best obviously. I think we were a bit slow in transition but we were able to improve as the game progressed and I’m happy that we eventually got the breakthrough.”
The victory elevates Uganda to seven points in three games and Mckinstry believes this keeps the team on the right path to qualification.
“Obviously the result puts us in a good position and gives us confidence going forward. The target is to qualify for Cameroon and there is nowhere you are going achieve this without winning games.”
South Sudan and Uganda will face off again in the return leg on Monday next week with the former hosting the game in Kenya.