Ethiopia and Uganda Cranes players walk from the dressing rooms
  • International Friendly: Ethiopia Walia Stars 2-1 Uganda Cranes

Uganda Cranes fell 2-1 to Ethiopia during the international friendly match played at Bahir Dar Stadium on Sunday, 29th August 2021.

Nasir Abubeker gave the dominant home side an early lead in the 11th minute finishing past goalkeeper Isima Watenga.

Abel Yelew doubled the lead 9 minutes into the second half as they carried on the huge chunk of ball possession from the first half.

Second-half substitute Yunus Sentamu pulled a goal back for the visitors with a long-range decent effort from 30 yards past goalkeeper Fasil Gebremicheal. Sentamu had replaced Abdu Lumala at the onset of the second half.

Action between Uganda Cranes and Ethiopia

The other two substitutes made as the final stanza kicked off were St George bound goalkeeper Charles Lukwago for Isma Watenga and Ibrahim Orit for debutant Enock Walusimbi.

Walusimbi’s withdrawal meant that another player would play the right back role; and so did Denis Iguma.

Young African’s midfielder Khalid Aucho later paved way for youngster Bobosi Byaruhanga in the 63rd minute.

Captain Emmanuel Arnold Okwi was withdrawn for Richard Basangwa in the 69th minute as URA captain Shafik Kuchi Kagimu replaced SuperSport United midfielder Moses Waiswa with five minutes to play.

Unused substitutes

Six players were unused in the game that the hosts completely dominated.

 Goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Abdul Azizi Kayondo, Kenneth Ssemakula, Steven Desse Mukwala, and Innocent Wafula were not introduced.

Meanwhile, Tadeo Lwanga and Martin Kizza did not feature in the match for different reasons.

Joseph Benson Ochaya controls a high ball

Head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic was delighted for the test from Ethiopia ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Mali.

“The match was very important as it pointed out to the test of the players. We got the answers because in football you either win or learn the lesson. We saw shortcomings of the players and what they are capable of and how best to improve before the FIFA World Cup qualifiers,” Micho noted.

Skipper Okwi, like Micho, was also happy for the check-mate from Ethiopia.

“The game against Ethiopia exposed us and it has given us the due challenge on how to improve amicably before the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Kenya and Mali are not exactly like Ethiopia but we shall further check ourselves,” Okwi revealed.

Milton Karisa, one of the few players who lasted for the entire duration of the match was humbled by the challenge faced in thy midst.

“Fine, we took a long time without playing competitively because of the national lockdown back home but we need to stand up and rise highest,” Karisa stated.

Uganda Cranes delegation sets off for Nairobi on Monday evening aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

Advance party head Paul Mukatabala is already in Nairobi ready to receive the team.

Uganda Cranes players sing the national anthem

Uganda Cranes XI: Isma Watenga (46’ Charles Lukwago), Enock Walusimbi (’46 Ibrahim Orit), Joseph Benson Ochaya, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Denis Iguma, Khalid Aucho (63’ Bobosi Byaruhanga), Moses Waiswa (84’ Shafik Kuchi Kagimu), Abdu Lumala (46’ Yunus Sentamu), Milton Karisa, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi – Captain (69’ Richard Basangwa)

Subs Not Used: Joel Mutakubwa (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Abdul Azizi Kayondo, Kenneth Ssemakula, Steven Desse Mukwala, Innocent Wafula

Not available: Tadeo Lwanga and Martin Kizza

Ethiopia players

Ethiopia XI: Fasil Gebremicheal (G.K), Shemeles Bekele (Captain), Desta Yohannes, Yared Baye, Asrat Tonjo, Magiot Debebe, Gatoch Panom, Bezabele Meleyu, Nasir Abubeker, Gebremicheal Amanuel, Abel Yelew

Subs: Jemal Tasew (G.K), Frew Getahune (G.K), Suleman Hamid, Surefel Dagnachew, William Solomon, Cherenet Gugusa, Shemeket Gugusa, Amanuel Yohannes, Menaf Awel, Solomon Tefese, Alemu Fitum, Yihun Endeshaw

Ethiopia and Uganda Cranes captains pose with the match officials before kick off

Match Officials

  • Center Referee: Haileyesus Bazezew (PhD) – Ethiopia
  • Assistant Referee 1: Kindle Mussie – Ethiopia
  • Assistant Referee 2: Yibekal Dessalegne – Ethiopia
  • Fourth official: Lemma Nigussie – Ethiopia
Warm up session for the players

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

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