LUGOGO – The Uganda Cranes registered their first victory of the AFCON 2021 Qualifying campaign on Sunday as they defeated Malawi 2-0 at Namboole.
Emmanuel Okwi handed the Cranes a first-half lead before Fahad Bayo sealed the contest in the second period.
The victory sees Uganda move onto four points in Group B having drawn 0-0 away to Burkina Faso in their opening game.
After the game, Fahad Bayo could not hide his delight and satisfaction to have scored a debut goal for the senior team.
“Scoring today (Sunday)-on my debut, has given me a lot of confidence and delight, said Bayo.
“The coach trusted me and handed me my debut. I am pleased that I went out there and did not humiliate his trust in-front of thousands of people.
“As a striker, you can only repay the coach’s faith by scoring and thank God I have done exactly that.”
Scoring has not been an issue for Bayo since returning to Uganda and joining Vipers SC this summer.
For the Venoms, he has scored 10 goals, 8 in the league and two in the FUFA Super 8. The former Proline striker has also scored in every national team engagement he has taken part in so far.
Despite finding the back of the net in both the CHAN Qualifiers and Regional Tour, the AFCON qualification is rubbing shoulders with the continent’s big boys, a chance that Bayo took with both hands.
“I came into the game knowing that it is my chance now and I had to use it well.
“I am a striker and when you are put out there, goals are expected of you and it is good I have delivered.
“It was my first chance and I killed it off.”
Just like many coaches who have come and go, Bayo is now viewed as McKinstry’s first striking option.
It is believed that the North Irishman has a special affection for the Bayo’s style of play and sees him as a long term solution to Uganda’s center-forward position issues.
Asked about Johnathan McKinstry, Bayo had this to say;
“He is a very good coach who allows players to play.
“We are already enjoying the football under him and hopefully, we continue on the same road.”
Uganda will next take on South Sudan who lost 2-1 at home to Burkina Faso on the same day (Sunday).