Thursday, January 7
*Niger 0-3 Uganda
Milton Karisa was the starman as Uganda Cranes proved too good for Niger in the team’s last game of the Pre-Chan mini tournament in Yaounde.
The Vipers winger scored twice and set Saidi Kyeyune as Uganda went three up inside the opening 15 minutes of the game.
He outpaced Karim Mamadou when Niger’s goal-kick was retrieved back to slot under the surging goalkeeper to open the score-sheet in the third minute.
The winger, in the 10th minute, powered down the right to release a cut back for Kyeyune before the URA midfielder doubled the advantage.
In the 14th minute, Karisa grabbed his brace from close range thanks to Joachim Ojera who managed to beat his marker before squeezing a low cross inside the area.
Karisa finishes the Mini Tournament with three goals after scoring Uganda’s equaliser against Cameroon in the opening game.
The Cranes, who also beat Zambia 2-0, tops the four-nation tournament having collected seven points from three games.
Uganda were good value for the victory and could have scored more in the first half with Viane Ssekajugo also missing a good chance.
Niger, who drew Zambia 3-3 and beat hosts Cameroon 2-1, were second best but managed to force Joel Mutakubwa into outstanding saves.
Time To Dream?
Coach Jonathan Mckinstry will take the stick for his selection especially after leaving last season’s top scorer Steven Mukwala among others out of the final 25-man squad and opting for four goalkeepers, but all will be forgotten if the results continue to go his way.
Uganda Cranes have never moved past the group stages in all their four appearances at CHAN but there is a lot of optimism with this squad to skip the first hurdle.
The 3-0 win against Niger and the general performance in the Pre-Chan will give this team more confidence going into the tournament proper.
The Cranes will this Friday leave to Douala where they will be based for the group stage matches, FUFA has said.
The side will open their campaign against Rwanda on January 18 before facing Togo and defending Champions Morocco.
Is it coming home? Too big to ask but a place in the knockout is within reach as it stands.
Uganda Cranes – Joel Mutakubwa, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Paul Mbowa, Mujuzi Mustafa, Shafic Kagimu, Karim Watambala, Saidi Kyeyune, Viane Ssekajugo, Joachim Ojera, Milton Karisa.
Substitutes – Thomas Ikara, Hassan Muhamood, Eric Ssenjobe, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Tonny Mawejje, Ben Ocen, Ibrahim Orit
Niger – Issaka Oumarou, Ibrahim Adamou, Adodo Anani Tonou, Karim Mamoudou, Soufiane Boubacar, Kimba Koudize, Goumey Boubacar, Boubey H, Amadou Kader, Moussa Adamou, Halidou Idrissa