Football

Masavu’s Abraham Ndugwa stars as Uganda Cranes defeat Sao Tome

Uganda’s Emmanuel Okwi (right) tries to beat Sao Tome’s defender Santos Gilson: PHOTOS BY SHABAN LUBEGA

International Friendly 

Uganda 3 – 1 Sao Tome and Principe

Mandela National stadium, Namboole

Saturday, 24-03-2018

Uganda cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Sao Tome in an international friendly played at the Mandela National stadium on Saturday evening.

A goal each form Joseph Ochaya, Murusdi Juuko and debutant Abraham Ndugwa did the damage for the Cranes before a late consolation by midfielder Valera Jose for the visitors.

The First half started slowly but Uganda manufactured the first opportunity when Joseph Ochaya crossed in for Milton Karisa who miscued the ball with the goal begging.

After seventeen minutes, the ever green Ochaya threaded a through ball for Emmanuel Okwi but the striker could not control the ball after beating Sao Tome keeper Al Magida Aldair and it ran out of touch for a goal kick.

Yunus Ssentamu (right) beats Sao Tome defender Desneves Enilson in the 3-1 win.

Uganda finally got the first goal of the game when Ochaya turned in a Nicholas Wadada cross on 22 minutes.

Sao Tome’s first attempt on goal came at the half hour mark when midfielder Varela Jose struck straight at Denis Onyango in the Ugandan goal from a free-kick.

Emmanuel Okwi got a chance on 36 minutes to make amends for his earlier miss when he brilliantly got passed two Sao Tome defenders but shot straight at Aldair in goal.

Some of the Cranes players celebrating Abraham Ndugwa’s debut goal.

The second goal finally came in first half added time when Ochaya’s corner from the right was met by defender Murushid Juuko whose header easily beat Aldair to ensure that the Cranes take a 2-0 advantage into the break.

At the start of the second half, both teams created good opportunities to score but where wasted as Emmanuel Okwi failed to connect with a Milton Karisa cross and a minute later, Sao Tome’s Braganga Maquiadei blazed over Valera Jose’s inch perfect cross inside the 18 yard box.

On 63 minutes, Maquiadei had another opportunity to pull one back for the visitors but his goal bound shot was exceptionally saved by Onyango who dived low to push the ball wide for a corner.

Uganda’s Veteran midfielder Hassan Wasswa Mawanda nearly got onto the score sheet as his shot from inside the box hit the post after Sao Tome’s keeper Aldair failed to hold onto Joseph Ochaya’s corner and the ball fell to the former SC Villa captain’s feet.

Substitute Yunus Ssentamu wasted a glorious opportunity on 80 minutes to put Uganda 3-0 up when he decided to chest Ochaya’s free-kick instead of heading it enabling Sao Tome’s substitute goalkeeper Vaz Nilson to collect the weak effort before it crossed the line.

With eight minutes to play, debutant Abraham Ndugwa who came on for Kizito Luwaga on 57 minutes grabbed his debut goal when he slotted in Yunus Ssentamu’s pin point accurate defence splitting pass, past the on rushing Nilson.

The visitors finally managed to grab a consolation goal with one minute of the 90 to play as Valera Jose shot passed Onyango inside the box following substitute Damato Aderito’s cut back cross.

Uganda will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on Namibia in another international friendly at Namboole.

Alex Kabuba is one of three players who made their debut.

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