By: Danito Nsubuga
After nail biting first 45 minutes, the Uganda Hippos stood tall in the second period to register one of their best performances in the recent past.
Uganda got off the mark in the 25th minute after South Sudan’s Omot Kuwer man handled Steven Mukwala in the forbidden area and referee Adel Adam Mukhtar made no mistake but to point on the spot.
Mustafa Kizza stepped up and he placed the ball calmly in the opposite end of Ramadan Deng.
8 minutes later, Mustafa Mujuzi failed to communicate with his goal keeper Saidi Keni and he connected the ball in Uganda’s net to level matters for South Sudan.
The Hippos pushed harder but it was too late and the referee called it time up for the break.
On resumption, Matia Lule introduced Buddo S. S youngster Saddam Maseruka for the ineffective Joshua Okiror
The Hippos regained their mojo moving forward and by the 63rd minute, Steven Mukwala had recovered Uganda’s lead with a neat finish.
Goals continued to flow and this time it was Saddam Maseruka to steal the show with another superb finish.
It was a day for substitutes as Hamis Tibita scored with his first touch to put the score beyond Sudan’s reach.
The Hippos were dented a huge blow when assist king Mustafa Kizza received matching orders for retaliation on an opponent when the referee had already intervened.
It would not have been a perfect evening without a special moment but Allan Okello provided exactly that in the additional minutes, he struck a rocket that rattled up and down the cross bar to hit the next, it was the icing on the cake and the Hippos are all but through to the next round.
They are the favourites to take on Cameroon in the next round of the 2019 Junior cup of Nations qualifiers.
The second leg will be played on the weekend of 20th, 21st and 22nd April