MATCH PREVIEW: Buoyant Crested Cranes set to topple tricky Ethiopia


By: Sinan Rajub Senoga 

• Uganda vs Ethiopia 3:00pm

• Kenya vs Tanzania 5:15pm

Fresh from a moral boasting hard fought 1-0 victory over Kenya’s Harambee Starlets on Thursday, Crested Cranes are seeking to extend their winning start with an encounter against Ethiopia on match day 2 of the CECAFA Women Championship.

The encounter which will serve as Ethiopia’s first game of the tournament, will also be a repeat of the 2016 third place play off where the Ethiopians walloped Uganda 4-1 to clinch the bronze medal.

The Crested Cranes come into their second game in a jovial mood with all players available for selection. Farida Bulega is expected to ring a change or two in the line up that started the previous game, probably Winnie Babirye will replace Norah Alupo unless otherwise.

The Ethiopian team, also nicknamed Lucy are on an agonizing aftermath following exit from the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers in the final round at the hands of Algeria. On their way upto the last qualification hurdle, Ethiopia scored a total of 18 goals against Libya and Algeria.

Ethiopia will be without a number of key players like captain Rehima Zeraga, Sisaya Shitaye and clinical goal poacher Loza Abera who didn’t make it to Rwanda for different reasons. Loza Abera is undergoing trials in Europe with Swedish second tier side Kungsbacka IF.

Lilian Mutuuzo

On the other hand, Farida Bulega will look up to custodian Ruth Aturo, the versatile Grace Aluka, skipper Tracy Jones Akiror and striker Juliet Nalukenge in search of another positive result.

In the late kick (5:15pm), wounded sides Kenya and Kirimanjaro Queens of Tanzania will face off head on in a bid to make amends after losing their respective opening games. This will also be a repeat of the 2016 final where the Tanzanians emerged eventual 2-1 victors at Njeru.

Crested Cranes Probable line up;

Ruth Aturo (GK), Viola Namuddu, Grace Aluka, Shadia Nankya, Yudaya Nakayenze, Tracy Jones Akiror (C), Lillian Mutuuzo, Phiona Nabbumba, Zaina Namuleme, Juliet Nalukenge, Winnie Babirye

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