Uganda Cranes suffered a set-back in the current TOTAL AFCON qualification campaign, losing 1-0 to South Sudan during a Group B duel at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on Monday.
Gor Mahia club’s Tito Okello Odong, who was denied a chance to play for Uganda and switched to South Sudan in the past year, returned to haunt his country of birth when he scored a penalty in the 35th minute.
Two minutes before the goal came, Uganda Cranes had lost midfielder Khalid Aucho after red card.
Gallant efforts by Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi and the entire team in typical fighting spirit to find the equalizer were frustrated by a mean South Sudan defence.
South Sudan were also reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes to play through Abdallah Musa for a second booking, but it was too late to undo the damage.
Uganda Cranes remain on seven points from four matches, South Sudan earned their first victory of the campaign and has three points.
In another Group B game, Burkina Faso held hosts Malawi to a goalless draw. Burkina Faso remain top of the group with 8 points, while Uganda Cranes have 7 points, Malawi have 4 and South Sudan 3.
Uganda now needs to pick four points from the remaining two games to qualify for AFCON. Uganda will next host table leaders Burkina Faso on March 22 next year, before facing Malawi away on March 30th.
SENEGAL FIRST TO QUALIFY
Senegal became the first team to qualify for the 2022 AFCON after stopping hosts Guinea Bissau on Sunday night. Sadio Mane who also features for English giants Liverpool netted the lone goal.
In the other games played on Sunday Kenya lost 2-1 away to Comoros, while Burundi beat Mauritania 3-1 in Bujumbura. Chad held Guinea to a 1-1 draw, while Equatorial Guinea picked a 1-0 home win against Libya.
The AFCON competition was meant to take place in Cameroon in 2021, but was pushed further to 2022 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Team Line Up:
Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (18), Nicholas Wakiro Wadada (14), Disan Galiwango (4), Halid Lwaliwa (15), Timothy Denis Awany (03), Khalid Aucho (08), Karim Watambala (25), Faruku Miya (17), Allan Okello (20), Fahad Bayo (09), Kizito Luwagga (10)
Substitutes: Jamal Salim (19), Charles Lukwago (01), Paul Patrick Mbowa (24), Shafiq Kagimu (13), Edrisa Lubega (22), Brian Aheebwa (16), Mike Azira (23), Emmanuel Okwi (07), Derrick Paul Nsibambi (11), David Owori, Elvis Bwomono (06), Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu (12)
"I think over the two games we failed to execute and put up the performance we needed. For me and the coaching staff, we need to make reflections and we need to do better. We have to be better. " @johnnymckinstry pic.twitter.com/NalQU1wlrc
— FUFA (@OfficialFUFA) November 16, 2020
Coach should leave, like who in their right mind benches Okwi??? Whether off form there people who do business on national team and they are supposed to start.
— Papa™ (@emmaowor2) November 16, 2020
**** SOURCE: FUFA WEBSITE