• 2024 Tokyo Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers
  • First Round, First Leg
  • Uganda 3-3 Rwanda

Uganda Women’s National Team, Crested Cranes, will have a lot to work on before facing Rwanda in the return leg of the first round of the 2024 Paris Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers.

The game played on Wednesday at Kigali Pele Stadium exposed the weaknesses in Uganda’s back line.

The Crested Cranes threw away the lead in the second half twice with Rwanda forcing the game to end into a three-all draw.

Goalkeeper Ruth Aturo and defender Shadia Nankya had an outing to forget with some of the goals conceded being individual blunders.

Coach Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi made two changes from the team that started against Tanzania in a friendly game last week.

Margaret Kunihira and Joan Nabirye started ahead of Catherine Nagadya and Shamirah Nalugya respectively.

Uganda had a brilliant start and should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute but Fauzia Najjemba failed to find the target left with just the goalkeeper.

It was Rwanda that broke the opened the scores through Mukahirwa, capitalizing from a goal melee in the 33rd minute.

Shakirah Nyinagahirwa equalised at the stroke of halftime off a well-taken strike into the bottom right corner.

The first change for Uganda came just after recess with Kunihira paving way for Nalugya.

Five minutes into the second half, Najjemba was fouled inside the area and Hasifah Nassuna took the responsibility to slot home two minutes later.

In the 66th minute, Rwanda equalized through Libelle Nibagwira’s free kick.

There were further changes for Uganda with Fazila Ikwaput and Nagadya coming on in places of Nassuna and Sandra Nabweteme respectively.

Ikwaput helped Uganda regain the lead in the 84th minute, finishing off from a well-laid cross by Samalie Nakacwa.

However, the lead was short-lived with Rwanda once again finding the equalizer two minutes later through Usanasi Zawadi.

The two teams will face off on Sunday with the winner on aggregate facing Cameroon in the second qualifying round.

Uganda’s Starting XI: Ruth Aturo, Samalie Nakacwa, Sumaya Komuntale, Aisha Nantongo, Shadia Nankya, Joan Nabirye, Margaret Kunihira, Hasifah Nassuna, Sandra Nabweteme, Shakirah Nyinagahirwa, Fauzia Najjemba

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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