SINAN RAJUB SENOGA
The Crested Cranes fell to Ethiopia’s Lucy in the return leg match of the 2020 Olympics Qualifiers thanks to Loza Abera second half strike.
The first leg had ended 3-2 in Ethiopia’s favor and Farida Bulega’s charges came into this one with at least a 1-0 win on their mind.
Unfortunately, it was a different story all together as the Crested Cranes failed to overcome the Ethiopian opposition at the StarTimes stadium Lugogo.
Bulega and her technical team surprisingly named an attack minded line up on paper with US based star Sandra Nabweteme surprisingly starting on the bench.
The Crested Cranes coach however explained Nabweteme’s exclusion saying it was game strategy to bring her on as a game changer.
” We hoped Sandra can start on the bench as she studies the game very well before she could come on a game changer. “
Bulega said in the post press conference.
At the stroke of halftime, Uganda had a glorious chance to score the crucial goal when Fazila Ikwaput nearly caught the Ethiopian goalkeeper off-guard but her strike rattled the cross bar instead.
On resumption, Lillian Mutuuzo replaced her Kampala Queens attacking partner Resty Nanziri in a bid to surge the pursuit for the elusive goal.
Midfielder Riticia Nabbosa also took the place of Yudaya Nakayenze.
15 minutes later, Nabweteme came on for Fauzia Najjemba to pile more pressure on the Ethiopian defence which had been not bothered at all.
After an hour of waiting, the goal came but on the different end. Loza Abera capitalized on a defensive mishap to beat Ruth Aturo from close range.
Uganda never recovered after conceding thus the exit of the Crested Cranes in the Qualifiers of the 2020 Olympics games to be held in Tokyo Japan.
Ethiopia will face continental heavyweights Cameroon who got a bye in the next round.
Crested Cranes XI;
Ruth Aturo, Viola Namuddu, Grace Aluka, Aisha Namukisa, Shadia Nankya, Yudaya Nakayenze, Resty Nanziri, Tracy Jones Akiror, Fazila Ikwaput, Hasifa Nasuna, Fauzia Najjemba
Daisy Nakaziro, Marion Amangat, Phionah Nabbumba, Shamilah Nalujja, Lilian Mutuuzo, Ritah Nabbosa, Zainah Namuleme, Juliet Nalukenge, Sandra Nabweteme