How Uganda Cranes players rated in labored victory over South Sudan

Sinan RAJUB SENOGA 

Uganda needed a late Halid Lwaliwa header to overcome a resilient South Sudan side at St Mary’s stadium in Kitende.

The win took Johnathan McKinstry’s charges to seven points and maintained their top position on the Group B table as the AFCON qualifiers enter the closing stages.

This is how the Uganda Cranes players fared in the second win of the campaign.

1. Dennis Onyango – 7

Another clean sheet for the team’s captain. He was rarely tested but came to rescue when his defense was caught flat footed. Notably was his save to deny Ivan Wani at the edge of the box in the 14th minute.

2. Elvis Bwomono – 5

Not a good debut for the Southend United right back who was playing his first game on Ugandan soil. He barely had an impact going forward but was solid enough defensively.

3. Joseph Ochaya – 8

The TP Mazembe left back was one of the best performers on the day. He had a number of goal attempts, whipped in a good number quality crosses and free kicks.

Ochaya was the only Cranes player booked on the day and will miss the return leg in Kenya but also won the free kick that gave Uganda the all important goal.

4. Ronald Mukiibi – 6.5

Mukiibi had a descent start in a partnership with Timothy Awany but unfortunately limped off with a hamstring injury in the 65th minute. Replaced by Lwaliwa.

5. Timothy Awany – 6.5

Awany had to deal with the burly South Sudan strikers like Tito Okello who kept on asking questions especially in the first half. He was very fortunate to go away with two defensive errors.

6. Mike Azira – 8

Another outstanding performer on the day. Azira dictated play for the Cranes with neat passes and winning possession. He calmed play whenever the South Sudanese posed threat.

7. Farouk Miya – 7.5

Miya had a slow start to the game but gained momentum with time. He had a number of attempts including a low shot that hit the post in 70th minute following an exchange with Khalid Aucho at the edge of the box.

He walked away with an assist having delivered a perfect ball for Lwaliwa who broke the deadlock.

8. Khalid Aucho – 6.5

Aucho became more offensive when the hunt for goal intensified in the second half. He was involved in a number of goal attempts and had a chance to score from a Kizito Luwagga cross but his left footed effort went few inches wide. He was withdrawn for debutant Karim Watambala in the 72nd minute.

9. Emmanuel Okwi – 5

Not a good day in office for the Cranes marksman who started the game as the lead striker. He was later shifted to his preferred position (right side of attack) in the second half before he was taken off for Allan Okello in the 60th minute.

10. Derrick Nsibambi – 6

Nsibambi struggled to hit the ground in the first half when he was deployed on the right hand side of attack, a role he plays at club level. He was later sent to the lead striker role and almost scored from a Luwagga ball in the 49th minute but his shot was deflected for a corner kick.

11. William Kizito Luwagga – 8

Luwagga had the highest number of attempts in game and proved a threat to the resilient South Sudan defense. He almost broke the deadlock at the hour mark but still missed target but inches.

Besides the shots at goal, Luwagga also delivered a good number of descent crosses which were not converted by Nsibambi, Aucho and company.

Substitutes

Allan Okello – 6.5

His introduction added some attacking impetus to the team. Okello replaced Okwi at the hour mark and had two shots on target from the right side of attack. He was denied by the South Sudan goalkeeper Majak Mawith five minutes after his introduction.

Halid Lwaliwa – 7

The game winner! Halid Lwaliwa replaced Mukiibi 20 minutes into the second half. He delivered victory with a perfect header that beat the big gloves of Majak Mawith five minutes to normal time.

Edrisa Lubega – 5

Introduced in the 72nd minute of the game for Nsibambi, the Estonia based striker barely made instant impact.

Karim Watambala – 6

The Vipers starlet was brought on for Aucho and didn’t disappoint. He added on urgency in the midfield with quality passes going forward.

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