Afcon 2023 qualifying
Group F results on Saturday, June 4, 2022
Algeria 2-0 Uganda
Niger 1-1 Tanzania
Uganda Cranes opened their TotalEnergies 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a losing note as they fell 2-0 to Algeria in the capital Algiers on Saturday.
Forward Faruku Miya saw his first half penalty saved by Algerian goalkeeper Mustapha Zeghba in between two Fennec Foxes goals.
Aissa Mandi and Youcef Belaïli scored Algeria’s goals as the dominant hosts assumed Group F leadership on three points.
Niger, who travel to Uganda to face the Cranes face on Wednesday, drew 1-1 with Tanzania.
Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic handed debuts to Uganda Premier League stars including Soltilo Bright Stars midfielder Marvin Youngman, who started the game, and Proline’s Hakim Kiwanuka.
U-20 stars Steven Sserwadda and Derrick Kakooza also made their debuts off the bench.
But it is the hosts that dictated proceedings all evening, with AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer directing play in the middle of the park almost at will.
A few thrusts forward and some ambitious shots from Miya, plus very crucial saves by goalkeeper Charles Lukwago, were all Uganda could muster.
The Algerians were dangerous from the start but their reward did not come until the 28th minute.
Belaïli floated in a teasing ball and experienced Algerian striker Islam Silmani’s header crashed off the bar for Mandi to shoulder it in for 1-0.
The Cranes had a chance to respond before half time but Miya had his penalty saved after Rachid Ghaza had fouled Khalid Aucho in the box.
The Algerians continued to pound Uganda after half time and the Cranes caved in with 10 minutes from full time.
The hugely impressive Belaili dribbled several Cranes players before cutting in from the left to fire home past Lukwago.
Uganda next face Niger in Kitende on Wednesday while Algeria travel to Tanzania.