Crested Cranes player Fauzia Najjemba in action against Ethiopia. Credit: John Batanudde
  • 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualifiers
  • Second Round, First Leg
  • Uganda vs Ethiopia
  • Wednesday, 20th October 2021
  • St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende 4PM

Uganda will have an uphill task to climb against Ethiopia as the two Nations face on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende in the first leg of the second round of the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

The Dinknesh have always been a tough opponent for the Crested Cranes with the latter managing just two wins in recent engagements.

The two victories came at the CECAFA Women’s Championship in 2018 (hosted by Rwanda) and 2009 in Tanzania.

However, the other encounters including the 2018 AWCON Qualifiers and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers have seen Ethiopia secure wins.

With the aforementioned head-to-head statics, Crested Cranes head coach George Lutalo is aware of the task at hand but he is confident the team is ready and hoping for a decent result in Kitende.

“We are fully aware of the threat that our opponents pose and we know how they play. But we have equally prepared well and ready for the job before us. The players are focused and committed to winning on Wednesday,” he said during the pre-match press briefing.

Lutalo who has only been in charge of the team for two months believes playing at COSAFA Women’s Championship last month was a good precursor to the encounters against Ethiopia.

“Playing at COSAFA gave us a good test. We knew where we needed to improve and that’s what we have been working on since returning from South Africa.”

Captain Ruth Aturo believes the gap between Uganda and Ethiopia has narrowed down and they have the ability to beat them at home.

“I have been part of the National Team set up since 2016 and the progress we have had is evident. Back then, the team was just shaping but you can see we have a better squad capable of defeating Ethiopia.”

The return leg in Adis Ababa is slated for 26th October and the winner on aggregate will face either South Sudan or Kenya at the third and final qualifying phase.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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