The Under 17 national female football team is just two matches away from the FIFA World Cup finals having eliminated Tanzania in the second last qualifying round on a aggregate of 6 – 2.
Tanzania came into the game on Saturday at Startimes Stadium Lugogo with a 2 – 1 lead but their chances of progressing to the next round were cut short by the remarkable performance put up by the hosts that saw them winning the game 5 – 0.
In front of a fully packed stadium, the girls were in ruthless mode to win in a remarkable style with stunning individual performances. Midfield maestro Margaret Kunihira opened the score sheet, 2 minutes from break time before forward Fauzia Najjemba doubling the lead with a well taken free-kick.
Grace Aluka’s clearance beat Tanzania’s goalkeeper Aishi who had moved off her line to make the count 3 for the hosts before later on captain Juliet Nalukenge seeing the back of the net twice with a majestically calculated header and a well placed shot to seal off the win that also confirmed a record first win for Uganda against Tanzania in Women’s football.
Uganda head coach Ayub Khalifah praised his girls for doing a fantastic job against and has asked them to prepare well for the showdown against the next encounter to keep the Ugandan flag higher.
“I told the girls we had to use every opportunity we got and the second half was wonderful. We had played 13 internationals before the game in Dar and we had not lost. So I told them what happened in Dar was the first half and we can correct it in the second half at home and we did exactly that.” He said
This set a date for Uganda with Cameroon to the last playoff round. Cameroon eliminated Sao Tome and principle on a aggregate win of 10-0.
“We must now shift our focus to the clash against Cameroon, I want to make sure we get the tapes of Cameroon and study how they play, I know our federation will help us to secure the tapes because we want to be ready for the clash and my girls will continue to train hard.” Ayub added after being questioned about how prepared he is and the girls with Cameroon, whose senior team has established itself as one of the top international contenders of female football.
The first leg between Uganda and Cameroon will be played on May 1 in Kampala before the return leg in Yaounde on May 15. The Women’s U17 World Cup will be staged in India from November 2 to 21.
Uganda Starting XI
Daphine Nyayenga(GK), Samalie Nakachwa (Gillian Akadinda), Sumaya Komuntale, Bira Naddunga, Grace Aluka, Shamira Nalugya, Catherine Nagadya(Zaitun Namaganda), Hadijja Nandago(Gloria Namugerwa), Juliet Nalukenge, Fauzia Najjemba, Margret Kunihira