2019 AFCON Qualifiers-Group L
Lesotho – Uganda
Setsoto Stadium, Maseru
MASERU – The Uganda Cranes all but ensured qualification to the 2019 AFCON tournament after a convincing 2-0 victory over Lesotho on Tuesday evening.
Two first half strikes from Farooq Miya were enough to see Uganda through in a game that had limited goal mouth action especially in the second half.
After a dull initial exchange, Farooq Miya put Uganda in the lead on six minutes with a ferocious strike from outside the area after he was teed up by debutant Allan Kateregga.
Uganda could have doubled their lead on 13 minutes but Kateregga’s brilliant ball across the six yard box could only find Lesotho defender Basia Makepe and the home side cleared their lines.
A minutes later, the Cranes were at it again and this time Miya could only blaze over after expertly flicking the ball over a Lesotho defender out side the area.
The home side was struggling to create chances and Cranes captain Denis Onyango nearly gifted them an equaliser on 17 minutes when he lazily controlled a simple back pass from Murushid Jjuuko but managed to clear his lines in time before the ball crossed the line.
Two minutes later, Kateregga missed a glorious opportunity to double the Cranes lead when his goal bound shot was cleared off the line by the Makepe after the home side’s keeper Likano Mphuthi had spilt Emmanuel Okwi’s shot into the path of the Cape Town City midfielder.
The first yellow card of the game went to Uganda after Hassan Wasswa pulled Tumelo Khutlage as he tried to feed off a looped pass. Onyango had to be at his absolute best to save the resultant free-kick from Masoabi Nkoto.
A minute after the half hour mark, Miya was also booked for over reacting after committing a foul at the center line.
With eleven minutes to play in the first half, Uganda doubled its lead. Okwi was fouled by the Lesotho Captain, Miya stepped up and curled the resultant free-kick into the top right corner off the under side of the ball.
The rest of the first half was uneventful as Uganda ensured they held a 2-0 lead at half time.
Lesotho started the second half strongly and registered their first and second corners of the game inside the first six minutes of the last 45.
With Uganda on the back foot, Cranes coach Sebastian Desabre introduced left back Isaac Muleme in place of Kateregga to try and shut out Lesotho.
The home side felt they should have had a penalty on the hour mark when Jjuuko’s clumsy tackle brought down Nkoto but the referee waved away their appeals.
As the game wore on, Lesotho took the initiative and tried to find at least one goal and as a consequence, Khalid Aucho was booked for fouling Tumalo just outside the area. However, the resultant free-kick sailed wide of Onyango’s goal.
Lesotho’s best chance for a consolation goal came on 71 minutes as Nkoto headed a 5 corner only for Onyango to save comfortably.
Six minutes later, Onyango made another comfortable save as Tsoarelo Berang drilled a free-kick straight the the Cranes Skipper.
In another cautious move, Desabre made another substitution on 78 minutes, taking off the booked Miya and replacing him with Moses Waisswa.
Emmanuel Okwi who came into the game one caution away from suspension was booked a minute later for decent meaning he will miss Uganda’s next game.
With the Cranes headed for a famous victory, Desabre played his last card as he introduced Edrisa Lubega in place of the ineffective Patrick Kaddu on 88 minutes.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the second half, the Cranes held on to register their third win of the campaign, moving to 10 points with two games to play.
After Tanzania defeated Cape Verde 2-0 in the other group L encounter, the Cranes need one more point to ensure qualification to Cameroon 2019.
Uganda’s starting IX vs Lesotho:
Denis Onyango (GK), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murushid Jjuuko, Khalid Aucho, Denis Iguma, Moses Waiswa, Farooq Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, Allan Kateregga, Patrick Kaddu.