Uganda Cranes edged Rwanda Amavubi Stars 1-0 at the Stade De Kigali on Thursday night to record the first victory during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar group E qualifier.
Forward Azizi Fahad Bayo was the hero with the all important goal, coming in the 41st minute.
Bayo showed the typical goal poacher’s instincts, stabbing home a rebounded ball off Bobosi Byaruhanga shot after an initial free-kick delivery by Isaac Muleme.
Uganda defended gallantly and missed the opportunity to double the scores when Steven Dese Mukwala miss-kicked a ball from close range.
Muleme and goal scorer Bayo were lost through injuries but there is hope that by the time the two sides face off on Sunday at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende, there will have been recoveries.
Captain Khalid Aucho, defender Timothy Denis Awany and forward Cromwell Rwothomio were all cautioned in the game.
Abdul Azizi Kayondo earned his first senior cap when he replaced Muleme. Julius Poloto, Martin Kizza, Rwothomio and Yunus Sentamu were also granted game time for Byaruhanga, Moses Waiswa, Bayo and Steven Mukwala respectively.
The team returns home on Friday morning and will straight away embark on the recovery drills for the Sunday match at Kitende.
Uganda now has 5 points off three matches.
Uganda Cranes XI: Charles Lukwago (GK), Denis Iguma, Isaac Muleme, Enock Walusimbi, Timothy Awanyi, Khalid Aucho (Captain), Taddeo Lwanga, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Moses Waiswa, Azizi Fahad Bayo, Steven Mukwala
Subs: Isima Bin Rashid Watenga (GK), Alionzi Nafian (GK), Innocent Wafula, Aziizi Kayondo, Mustafa Kiiza, Livingstone Mulondo, Geofrey Wasswa, Najib Fesali, Shafik Kagimu, Julius Poloto, Ibrahim Orit, Martin Kizza, Cromwell Rwothomio, Yunus Sentamu.