2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Group F results

Uganda 0-1 Tanzania

Algeria 2-1 Niger

Five StarTimes Uganda Premier League players featured for Uganda but it was not enough as the Cranes lost 1-0 to Tanzania in their Group B Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Simon Happygod Msuva scored the only goal of the match at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in the Egyptian city of Ismailia on Friday.

Uganda’s second defeat in three qualifying matches leaves the Cranes bottom of their group with just one point.

Algeria, who beat Niger 2-1 on Thursday, top the group on nine points. Manchester City’s Riyadh Mahrez scored Algeria’s winner.

Tanzania follow on four, with Niger third on two. Only the top two teams will qualify to Ivory Coast Afcon 2023.

The Cranes must now beat captain Mbwana Samatta’s Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium next Tuesday for them to remain with any hopes of qualifying. 

Three Uganda Premier League players including defenders Kenneth Ssemakula of SC Villa and Livingstone Mulondo of Vipers SC started in coach Micho Sredojevic’s back four.

Spain and North Macedonia-based Aziz Kayondo and Halid Lwaliwa completed the backline, with Richards Bay’s (South Africa) Jamal Salim in goal.

In the midfield, Vipers Siraje Ssentamu partnered Yanga’s Khalid Aucho and Turkey-based Faruku Miya.

Egypt-based Joseph Ochaya, skipper Emmanuel Okwi and Fahad Bayo, who play their club football in Iraq and Czech Republic respectively, completed the 4-3-3 formation for Cranes.

There was not much to write home about in the first half apart from Novatus Dismas’ free kick that crashed off the crossbar for Tanzania.

Uganda’s front three also probed the other end but there was no real danger on the Tanzanian goalkeeper.

After half time, coach Micho made three substitutions, taking off forwards Bayo, Faruku Miya and midfielder Ssentamu for youngsters Steven Sserwada, Richard Basangwa and Isma Mugulusi.

But UPL and KCCA’s Allan Okello soon joined the fray after unfortunate Sserwadda came off injured.

More salt was added to the wound when the Cranes went behind after a sweeping move was thumped in from close range by Msuva on 71 minutes.

Micho’s final throw of the dice saw a fifth UPL play come on, Rogers Mato of KCCA replacing Okwi.

But the Tanzanians held on for all three points. The two teams meet again in Dar es Salaam next Tuesday.

Uganda’s final games of qualifiers will be at home against Algeria in June and away to Niger in September.

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