Uganda Premier League
Uganda 2-0 Malawi
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
NAMBOOLE – The Uganda National football team-the Cranes, registered their maiden victory in the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers on Sunday.
Johnathan McKinstry’s side defeated Malawi 2-0 in the game played at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
Emmanuel Okwi handed the Cranes a first half lead before Fahad Bayo wrapped up the contest with a debut goal in the second period.
The victory sees Uganda move onto four points from two games, level with Burkina Faso who also beat South Sudan on the same day.
For Malawi who started the day top of Group B, they drop into third spot with three points.
Cranes start slow but get job done
The Cranes struggled in the early exchanges as they could not find their footing in the game.
Kizito Luwagga tried an acrobatic finish off Nicholas Wadada’s cross but it went over.
Out of literally nothing, Okwi opened the scoring as he lashed onto a Joseph Ochaya long free kick and after Gomenzgani Chirwa mistimed the ball, the former Simba SC forward shot past Brighton Munthali in goal for 1-0.
With Malawi wanting to get back into the game instantly, they looked disorganized at the back but somehow Uganda failed to punish them.
Miya danced his way into the area and after beating Munthali, the effort hit the post before Ochaya’s rebound was charged down.
After a collision with Gabidinho at the start of the second half, Murushid Jjuuko was forced off with what looked like a dead-leg and replaced with Timothy Awanyi.
Luwagga then teed up Miya but the Turkish-based forward made a mess of his effort which crept wide.
The introduction of Allan Okello in place of Luwagga was greeted with cheers around the stadium as the 19-year old bowed for his competitive debut.
Barely a minute on the pitch, Okello made impact as he sent Bayo on his way to score the second on 69 minutes.
Uganda was hit with another injury late-on as Khalid Aucho limped off and was replaced by Tadeo Lwanga.
Malawi fail first real test in bid to make 3rd AFCON appearance
Malawi are trying to reach a third Africa Cup of Nations having did so in 1984 and 2010.
However, the game on Sunday proved they have a lot to do if they are to get to Cameroon.
Having won their first game at home to South Sudan, they very much wanted to add a positive result to the three points already in the bag.
They started in inspired fashion, taking the game to Uganda.
After a string of good passes, Richard Mbulu was played in on goal but dragged his effort wide.
The Flames continued taking the game to Uganda, forcing them into several mistakes but did not create enough to take an early lead.
They were forced into an early substitution as the injured Chimango Kayira was replaced by Chimwemwe Idana just before halftimes.
Gabidinho Mhango then played in Mbulu who like in his earlier effort, once again shot wide.
Gabidinho lashed onto a drop-ball at the start of the second half but his effort was dealt with by Denis Onyango.
Uganda next faces South Sudan while Malawi locks horns with Burkina Faso
How both teams lined up
Uganda Cranes XI
Dennis Onyango (GK, Captain), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Bevis Mugabi, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Fahad Bayo, William Luwagga Kizito
Robert Odongkara (GK), Charles Lukwago (GK), Halid Lwaliwa, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Kyambadde, Allan Okello, Isaac Muleme, Timothy Denis Awany, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Henry Patrick Kaddu
Brighton Munthali (GK), Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi, Lucky Malata, Gomezgani Chirwa, Yamikani Chester, Chimwemwe Idana, Gabadinho Mhango, John Banda, Gerald Jnr Phiri, Richard Mbulu
William Thole (GK), Chimango Kayira, Hassan Kajoke, Micium Mhone, Nickson Nyasulu, Peter Banda, Robin Ngalande, Chikotir Chirwa, Trevor Kalema