Jinja- There must have been a moment when even the Tanzanian fans standing next to the pavilion at Njeru Technical Centre felt it should end as their team beat Uganda 4-1 in the Cecafa Women Championship semi-finals yesterday.
They were humane enough to stop singing when their captain Rashid Asha scored the fourth at the very beginning of the second half.
The home crowd did not go entirely quiet. There was a rumble of conversation, perhaps, people trying to make sense of what they were seeing. One fan behind the Tanzanian goal shouted ‘mutusasire’ (have mercy on us). After Uganda’s commendable display in their 9-0 and 1-0 wins over Zanzibar and Burundi, it was hard to imagine the next game would be so ruinous, so humbling.
As a nation we were ready to battle. Midfielder Stellah ‘Kaliba’ Nassuna was fielded as a rightback and Joan Nakirya started on the wing but Uganda struggled for effectiveness.
Christine Nambirige was introduced for left back Yudaya Nakayenze, to give some attaking impetus but the switch didn’t work as she finished the game as a defender when Joan Nakirya hobbled off seven minutes from the restart.
The Tanzanians, on their part, were brilliant and effective. They couldn’t find the off switch. Wave after wave of forward play, they cut through Uganda’s defence.
Their first three shots on target, in 32 minutes, from Daniel Donisa, Omari Mwanahamisi and Abdalla Stumai resulted into goals. Ugandan goalkeeper Ruth Aturo made her first save in the 38th minute.
Though the game was free flowing from end to end, Uganda seemed lightweight in midfield and lacked the cutting edge in the final third, resorting to shooting for the sake of it. With ten minutes left, the fans started to empty their seats.
They had had enough but the few that stayed cheered Hasifah Nassuna’s consolation, the last kick of the game, in additional time.
Earlier Kenya had come from 1-0 down to beat Ethiopia 3-2 in the first semi-final.
Tanzania 4-1 Uganda
Kenya 3-2 Ethiopia
Tomorrow at Njeru
Uganda vs. Ethiopia, 2pm
Tanzania vs. Kenya, 4pm