International Build-up game
Uganda 1-0 Ivory Coast
Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Saturday, 15-06-2019 @3:30pm
ABU DHABI – The Uganda Cranes defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 in an international build-up game played on Saturday, June 15th.
Croatia based forward scored the only goal of the game, converting from the spot with 12 minutes to halftime.
In the game played at the Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium, both teams started slowly under the scorching sun, failing to create anything meaningful in the first 30 minutes or so.
With the temperature at 38 degrees, the players took a water break at the half-hour mark as Uganda’s striker Patrick Kaddu underwent medical treatment for an elbow on the chin.
Three minutes later, Abdu Lumala saw his attempted cross deflected out for a corner. From the result kick, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda was tagged back by Ivorian captain Serg Aurier leaving the referee with no option but to point at the spot. Miya took responsibility and sent Sylvan Gbohouo the wrong way to hand Uganda the lead.
The Cranes could have doubled their advantage on 37 minutes but Kaddu headed agonizingly wide a Miya-wonderful free kick.
Uganda were dealt a blow 5 minutes to half time when Kaddu was forced off with injury and replaced by Allan Kyambadde.
Ivory Coast had looked pedestrian in their approach and had to wait until the 41st minute for their first attempt on goal. Nicholas Pepe was brought down just outside the Uganda penalty area by Murushid Juuko but Max Gradel sent the resultant free kick over the bar.
The two sides went into half time with Uganda leading 1-0.
Both sides returned for the second half without any changes made which was a surprise as some of the players looked to be exhausted by the end of the first.
Uganda started brightly after the re-start and saw Khalid Aucho shoot wide from just outside the box after he was teed up by Kyambadde.
With 7 minutes played in the second half, Kyambadde was fouled outside the box. Miya’s resultant free kick was parried into the path of Aucho by Gbohouo but the midfielder blazed over the rebound with an open goal at his mercy.
Ivory Coast’s first chance in the second half fell to Jonathan Kodjia who headed poorly into the ground and out for a goal kick.
The game looked to finally have opened up and at the other end, Emmanuel Okwi chested down Mike Azira’s cross, shot first time but the effort was deflected out for a fruitless corner by Ismael Traore.
Godfrey Walusimbi became the first player to be booked on 64 minutes for a reckless foul on Nicholas Pepe.
Moments later Isaac Muleme was introduced in place of Abdu Lumala as Uganda made their second substitution.
Uganda felt they should have been awarded another penalty on 75 minutes when Gbohouo brought down Kyambadde in the area but the claims where immediately waved away by the referee.
Ivory Coast made two substitutions, sending on Wilfred Zaha and Wilfred Bony in place of Max Gradel and Jean Gbamen respectively.
Uganda made their third substitution on 82 minutes with Tadeo Lwanga replacing the tired-looking Miya.
Five minutes later, Ronald Mukiibi was also introduced in place of Murushid Juuko.
Ivory Coast got a glorious chance to level matters at the death but Denis Onyango was on hand to parry away a Bony point-black header off Aurier’s cross.
This is Uganda’s first victory in the two international build up they have played ahead of AFCON 2019. Last Sunday, they drew 0-0 with Turkmenistan.
Uganda will now set all their focus on the 2019 AFCON finals which start next week. The Cranes are in Group A alongside hosts Egypt, DR Congo and Zimbabwe.
Uganda Cranes starting XI
Denis Onyango (GK), Bevis Mugabi, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko, Hassan Wasswa, Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Abdu Lumala, Farouku Miya, Patrick Kaddu, Emmanuel Okwi.
Ivory Coast starting XI
Sylvan Gbohouo (GK), Serge Aurier, Ismael Traore, Wilfred Kanon, Doumbia Souleyman, Frank Kessie, Jean Gbamen, Jean Seri, Nicholas Pepe, Jonathan Kodjia, Max Gradel.