Sserunkuma goal guides Cranes to victory

Total Africa Cup of Nations

Group L results

Tanzania 1-1 Lesotho

Cape Verde 0-1 Uganda

Geoffrey Serunkuma stepped off the bench to score the all-important goal as Uganda opened their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign with a priceless 1-0 away victory over Cape Verde on Sunday night.

To viewers, the KCCA striker had barely felt the pitch atmosphere after coming on for Emmanuel Okwi.

But to him, Sserunkuma had long felt it, the striker announcing his arrival proper when he rolled in from close range Godfrey Walusimbi’s sweeping cross from the left on 83 minutes to send Ugandans and Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic’s bench into ecstasy.

Uganda now top Group L with three points after the first match, with Tanzania and Lesotho, who drew 1-1 in Dar es Salaam a day earlier, on a point apiece.

Other changes had seen Micho take off Isaac Muleme for striker Milton Karisa after the break, making it four Cranes forwards on the pitch at the time.

Others forwards on the pitch at the time were Okwi, Farouk Miya and Derrick Nsibambi. Defender Timothy Awany was an injury time replacement for striker Nsibambi.

The match also saw Denis Onyango start a new chapter as the full time captain of the Uganda Cranes in which he made several match-winning saves.

Hassan Wasswa and Khalid Aucho manned the midfield while Murushid Juuko and Bernard Muwanga took control of central defence. Walusimbi and Nicholas Wadada were the left and right full backs respectively.

“It was a good result,” said Micho, “This is a wonderful result for my boys and the people of Uganda.”

The team left Cape Verde on Sunday at 11pm local time (3am Monday in Uganda) and will arrive at Entebbe Airport on Tuesday at 3am.

Team Line ups:

Cape Verde XI: Vozinha (G.K), Tiago Almeida, Carlitos, Vally, Gege, Marcos Soares (59’ Ryan Mendes), Jamiro (76’ Helder), Garry Rodrigues, Ponck, Ze Luis, Julio Tavares (59’ Heldon)

Subs Not Used: Babanco, Kevin Oliveira

Head coach: Lúcio Antunes

Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (GK) (C), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Bernard Muwanga, Murushid Jjuuko, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Khalid Aucho, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (78′ Geofrey Sserunkuma), Derrick Nsibambi (94′ Denis Timothy Awany) and Isaac Muleme (46′ Milton Karisa)

Subs Not Used: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Isma Watenga (GK), Denis Okot, Robert Kaketo, Muhammad Shaban

Head coach: Micho Sredejovic