Cosafa: Crested Cranes defeat Zimbabwe to storm semi-finals

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Crested Cranes striker Nanziri Resty (R) taking on Zimbabwe player in COSAFA Women Championship. Left fullback Grace Aluka (L) looks on.

Uganda breezed through to the semi-finals of this year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship after a blistering performance against Zimbabwe on Monday.

The Crested Cranes registered a 2-1 win to finish top in group C on seven points and advance to the last four stage.

Second half substitute Juliet Nalukenge and captain Tracy Jones Akiror-both players from FUFA Women Elite League Champions  Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC  scored a goal each in the second half to edge past the 2011 champions.

Faridah Bulega, the Crested Cranes head coach made only one change from the team that started against Namibia on Saturday with Phiona Nabbumba replacing Hasifa Nassuuna.

Despite starting on a slow note, Uganda put up a resuscitated performance in the second half to garner maximum points.

Victoria University

Upon restart, Bulega called for the first substitution with Shamira Nalujja paving way for the 2016 FUFA Woman Player of the year Nassuna.

Nalukenge who came on for Resty Nanziri in the 55th minute broke the deadlock with 17 minutes on the clock after all the donkey work from youngster Lilian Mutuuzo. The latter got injured in the process and was replaced by Norah Alupo.

Crested Cranes players in cerebration after wining Zimbabwe 1-2 in COSAFA Championship

Akiror doubled Uganda’s lead in the 78th minute heading home from Nassuuna’s delivery from a corner kick.

Zimbabwe got their consolation in the 90th minute but the Crested Cranes remained composed to get all three points as 6 minutes of added time were played.

Uganda finished top in group C on seven points ahead of Zimbabwe (six), Namibia (four) and Swaziland with no point.

Crested Cranes Starting XI:

Ruth Aturo (GK), Viola Namuddu, Grace Aluka, Aisha Namukisa, Shadia Nankya, Tracy Jones Akiror (Capt), Lilian Mutuuzo (Norah Alupo),Shamira Nalujja(Hasifa Nassuna), Resty Nanziri(Juliet Nalukenge), Phiona Nabbumba, Zaina Namuleme

Unused Substitutes

Juliet Adeke(GK), Daizy Nakaziro(GK), Bridget Nabisaalu Mawanda, Riticia Nabbosa, Spencer Nakachwa, Favour Nambatya.

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