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COSAFA U-17: Draw compromise to Uganda’s title charge – Ayub Khalifah

U-17 girls captain Juliet Nalukenge tries to go past a Zambian player during their game at the St. Francois Xavier Stadium, Port Luis - Madagascar | COSAFA media

Uganda U-17 women national team got off to a rather disappointing start to the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) U-17 women championship, after being held to a 1-1 draw against Zambia.

The game was the first ever game played in the U-17 women age bracket, with the tournament being held for the first time.

Uganda were the better side at the St. Francois Xavier stadium, Port Luis – Malawi, creating numerous goal scoring opportunities but failing to put them away.

But still they went ahead in the game through skipper Juliet Nalukenge’s well taken penalty in the 62nd minute after Kevin Nakachwa was brought down inside the area.

Uganda kept on knocking on the door for a second, but to no avail as Zambia defended better than they did in the opening hour.

With seven minutes to go, Zambia levelled the score after Uganda shot stopper Daphine Nyayenga failed to stop Sherry Masomo simple shot.

However, Cranes coach Ayub Khalifah was not impressed with his side’s failure to hold out for the win, but acknowledged that the Zambians gave them a good game.

“It was a good game, the Zambians played well and gave us a run for the 90 minutes. But am pretty sure we should have picked up all three points,” Ayub said after the game.

“We created numerous goal scoring opportunities throughout the game, but we failed to take them away, otherwise it should have been an easy win for us.” He added.

The Crested Cranes U-17 have made it no secret that they intend to emerge victorious in the tournament. And Ayub said that failure to win their opening game compromises their objective, but they shall need to go back to the drawing board before the next game.

Uganda’s Fauzia Najjemba picks up her man-of-the-match accolade | COSAFA media

“We came here to win the trophy. A draw against Zambia compromises that goal, but we can take the point and look to build on it before the next game,”

“we have identified some of our shortcomings in this game, and shall go back to the drawing board before our next game.” Khalifah noted.

Uganda are back in action on Sunday 22nd, September against host Mauritius before playing their last group match against Comoros two days after.

Ugandan starting XI

Daphine Nyayenga, Gillian Akadinda, Patricia Akiror, Biira Nadunga, Stella Musibika, Kevin Nakachwa, Zaitun Namaganda, Shakira Nyinagahirwa, Margaret Kunihira, Juliet Nalukenge, Fauzia Najjemba.

Head coach: Ayub Khalifah

Zambia starting XI

Muchahabali (gk), Lungu, Banda, Nsama, Ksonde, E. Banda, Shilenga, Mumba, Selemani, Siamfuko (c), T. Lungu

Head coach: Kaluba Kangwa

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