Uganda’s U20 Women’s National Team Kicks Off African Games Campaign with Draw Against Tanzania

The Uganda U20 Women’s National Team commenced its journey at this year’s African Games with a stalemate against neighboring Tanzania. The group B fixture, held on Saturday at Cape Coast Stadium, concluded in a one-all draw.

Margret Kunihira initiated Uganda’s lead in the first half, yet the Tanzanians managed to net a late equalizer through Aisha Juma Mnuka. It’s noteworthy that this marks the inaugural inclusion of Women’s Football in the African Games since its establishment in 1965.

Under the guidance of Queen Cranes coach Sheryl Botes, Sharon Kaidu guarded the goal, supported by Catherine Wujja and Docus Lwalisa as fullbacks. Phionah Nabulime and Shakirah Nankwanga formed the defensive line.

Operating within a 4-3-3 framework, Krusum Namutebi anchored the midfield alongside Shamusa Najjuma and Latifah Nakasi. Captain Catherine Nagadya spearheaded the attack, flanked by Zainah Nandede and Margret Kunihira.

Uganda commenced on a promising note, with Kunihira and Nandede posing a threat to the Tanzanian defenders due to their pace. Nagadya had an opportunity to score early on, but her long-range attempt missed the mark.

Shortly after, she found herself in another scoring position from Kunihira’s pass, but failed to hit the target. The breakthrough finally arrived just before halftime when Kunihira calmly slotted home.

Nandede initiated the counter-attack from her own half, outpacing two defenders before delivering a cross to Kunihira, who controlled the ball and fired it past the goalkeeper.

Early in the second half, the skipper had another chance to score but was flagged offside and missed the target. Coach Botes later opted for substitutions, introducing Juliet Nalukenge for Nagadya, while Shamirah Nalugya and Immaculate Kizza replaced Namutebi and Kunihira, respectively.

Tanzania leveled the score a minute before the end of regular time through Mnuka, who found the net from close range. The Queen Cranes will resume action on Tuesday against Ethiopia before facing hosts Ghana three days later.