SINAN RAJUB SENOGA
Ethiopia’s Lucy edged Uganda’s Crested Cranes 3-2 in the first leg of the preliminary round of the 2020 Olympics qualifiers at the Addis Ababa stadium.
A last minute goal from Hasifa Nassuna and Kara Meskerem own goal in the final added three minutes resurrected the seemingly fading hopes of the Crested Cranes.
Farida Bulega’s coached team fell behind as early as the 12th minute when defender Aisha Namukisa unfortunately scored in her own net.
Sandra Nabweteme had a chance to level the scores for Uganda but her penalty kick came off the woodwork five minutes to the mandatory halftime break.
On resumption, Bulega brought on Fazila Ikwaput and Fauzia Najjemba for Zaina Namuleme and Shamira Nalujja.
Loza Abera doubled the lead for the hosts in the 76th minute capitalizing a defensive lapse.
Three minutes later, Kidani Serkadis Guta made it 3-0 following another lapse in the defense.
Nassuna was brought on for Nabweteme in what turned out to be Uganda’s final change on the evening.
Kara Meskerem scored in her own net in the first minute of the added three before Nassuna further cut the deficit moments later.
The Crested Cranes will embark on a journey back to Kampala as they look forward to the return leg match slated for Saturday 6th April at Lugogo.
Crested Cranes XI;
Ruth Aturo (GK/Captain), Viola Namuddu, Grace Aluka, Shadia Nankya, Aisha Namukisa, Yudaya Nakayenze, Phiona Nabbumba, Shamira Nalujja (Fazila Ikwaput), Zaina Namuleme (Fauzia Najjemba), Sandra Nabweteme (Hasifa Nassuna) and Lillian Mutuuzo
Subs not used;
Daisy Nakaziro (GK), Juliet Nalukenge, Riticia Nabbosa, Marion Amangat, Tracy Jones Akiror and Resty Nanziri