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Crested Cranes eye early advantage in Olympics qualifiers

Crested Cranes players warming up at the National stadium in Addis Ababa before the skies went loose with heavy rains. (FUFA Photos)

Tokyo 2020 CAF Women’s Olympics qualifier 

Ethiopia vs Uganda

Addis Ababa National Stadium, Addis Ababa 

Wednesday, 03-04-2019 @4pm

ADDIS ABABA – The Crested Cranes will take on Ethiopia in the CAF Women’s Olympics qualifier at the Addis Ababa National Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The game will be the Uganda Women National team’s first in the Olympics setup having not featured in the qualifiers before.

Lately, the Women’s game has been growing in the country and it comes as no surprise that they will make an attempt at qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Faridah Bulega and her team of 20 players flew out of the country on Tuesday morning after having a 9 day training camp at Njeru Technical Center in Jinja.

They held a training session in Addis Ababa on Tuesday afternoon but it was cut short due to heavy downpour.

Amongst the team, there are three professional footballers who joined them in Njeru.

Sandra Nabweteme and Yudaya Nakayenze who ply their trade in the US and Kazakhstan based Fazila Ikwaput.

Nabweteme is one of the three professionals in the team.

The three are expected to be pivotal if Uganda will be able to get anything tangible in the first game on Wednesday.

What they are saying before the game:

Sandra Nabweteme, Crested Cranes forward.

“I feel happy to join the team. We want to get a very good result here to take back home for the return leg.

“The players in camp are confident and ready to deliver come Wednesday.

“We shall work as a team and take responsibility of representing our country at all times.

Faridah Bulega, Crested Cranes head coach.

“Apart from the rains that disorganized our training plans, the rest is very fine.

“We have had good preparations for the fixture and I have a lot of trust in this team.

“We want to make this chance count a lot towards development of football in Uganda.

The winner between Uganda and Ethiopia on aggregate will play Cameroon at the next qualifying stage.

Africa has one and half slots at the Olympics with the overall winner of the qualifiers earning a direct ticket while the runner up will play a playoff game against a team from South America.

The last time the two teams met was at the 2018 Women’s CECAFA Championship in Rwanda, a game that Uganda won 2-1.

The squad that is currently in Ethiopia:

Goalkeepers:

Ruth Aturo (UCU Lady Cardinals), Daisy Nakaziro (Lady Doves).

Defenders:

Shadia Nankya (Uganda Martyrs High School Rubaga), Aisha Namukisa (Kampala Queens), Viola Namuddu (Makerere-She MAK),  Yudaya Nakayenze (Siminole State College, USA),  Grace Aluka (Kawempe Muslem SS Ladies FC), Marion Amangat (Olila High School).

Midfeilders:

Phionah Nabbumba (Ajax Queens), Tracy Jones Akiror (Kawempe Muslem SS Ladies FC),  Shamilah Nalujja (Isra Academy), Fauziah Najjemba (Isra Academy), Lilian Mutuuzo (Kampala Queens),  Ritah Nabbosa (Lady Doves).

Strikers:

Juliet Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslem SS Ladies FC), Hasifa Nassuna (UCU Lady Cardinals), Zainah Namuleme (Kampala Queens), Resty Nanziri (Kampala Queens), Sandra Nabweteme (Southwestern Oklahoma State University, USA) and Fazila Ikwaput (BIIK Kazygurt, Kazakhstan).

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