Uganda’s senior ladies national football team, the Crested Cranes got off to a perfect start at the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship with victory over Swaziland.
The team coached by Faridah Bulega and playing at the tournament for the first time as a guest nation registered a 3-4 win to move top of group C.
Zaina Namuleme beats Swaziland defender Sindiswa during the match. The gifted striker was a joy to watch during the match.
Hasifa Nassuuna struck a brace while Norah Alupo and Resty Nanziri scored a goal each to guide Uganda past Swaziland in the game played at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Swaziland got their goals through Celiwe Thandazile Nkambule, Tenanile Sandiswa Mgcamphalala and Cebile Shongwe.
Nassuuna opened the scores just two minutes after kickoff capitalising on a mistake by a defender to slot home and give Uganda a good start.
Uganda kept surging forward and at the half hour mark, Alupo doubled the lead tapping home from close range.
Namuleme made the donkey work on the left flank, dribbling past Mgcamphalala before laying up a well weighed cross and Alupo was quick to tap home.
With the game destined for the mandatory break, Nanziri who had hit the woodwork earlier in the game stretched Uganda’s lead scoring the third and her first goal in national team colours on her debut.
Despite efforts by Swaziland to stage a comeback back in the second half, the Crested Cranes were able to fend off the pressure and secure maximum points.
Nassuuna converted from the spot after a foul on captain Tracy Jones Akiror with two minutes on the clock to deflate Swaziland’s hopes after Mgcamphalala and Nkambule had scored midway in the second half.
Shongwe scored the third for Swaziland deep into stoppage time but it was Uganda that emerged victors on the day.
Victory meant Uganda leads group C on three points ahead of Namibia and Zimbabwe who face off on Thursday. Uganda’s next fixture will be against Namibia on Saturday 15 September.
Crested Cranes Starting XI against Swaziland
Crested Cranes Starting XI against Swaziland : L-R Ruth Aturo (GK), Hasifa Nassuuna, Nabisaalu Bridget, Nabbosa Riticia, Nabbumba Phiona, Namuddu Viola, Front row; Tracy Akiror (C), Namuleme Zainah, Nanziri Resty, Mutiibwa Shakira, Alupo Norah.