Uganda feel wrath of football in loss to Morocco

Uganda's forward Fauzia Najjemba (L) struggled to get anything of note off Morocco's defender Nesryne El Chad. Uganda's 3-1 loss to hosts Morocco in the second phase of Group A matches at the ongoing Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) was a rollercoaster of emotions. Photo/ Crested Crane on Twitter 

What you need to know:

  • After Senegal's 1-0 win over Burkina Faso - thanks to Fall Korka's 84th minute penalty - in the other Group A encounter, Uganda and Morocco had their assignments clear ahead of their late kickoff at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat yesterday.

Uganda's 3-1 loss to hosts Morocco in the second phase of Group A matches at the ongoing Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) was a rollercoaster of emotions.

After Senegal's 1-0 win over Burkina Faso - thanks to Fall Korka's 84th minute penalty - in the other Group A encounter, Uganda and Morocco had their assignments clear ahead of their late kickoff at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat yesterday.

Morocco needed to win to keep pace at the top of the group while a draw would do to bring Uganda back into contention for a considerable third place finish.

The hosts showed early intent and were rewarded - after intervention from the video assistant referee (Var) - when Margaret Namirimu, one of four changes from coach George Lutalo's side that lost 2-0 to Senegal on Sunday, brought down Rosella Ayane in the box in the 11th minute.

Namirimu came in for the rested Aisha Nantongo and was partnered by makeshift defender Phiona Nabbumba, sitting in for the sick Yudaya Nakayenze.

Hasifah Nassuna also reportedly sick was replaced by Sandra Nabweteme while Fazila Ikwaput started ahead of Viola Nambi.

But that did not give Uganda early momentum as the Tottenham Hotspur striker made no mistake in slotting the ball past Ruth Aturo for Morocco's opener.

Calm nerves

Uganda settled after and went toe-to-toe with the Moroccans. The Crested Cranes played for fouls with midfielder Shamirah Nalugya taking the lead as the 32nd minute foul she drew from Fatima Tagnaout led to a sumptuous equalizer from Sumaya Komuntale.

The left-back curled the ball past the Moroccan wall and into the net from a freekick closer to the byline. Her goal was surely widely celebrated back home and will make the highlight reels for a while.

Uganda returned from the dressing rooms with more vigour but were broken by Morocco coach Reynald Pedros' substitutions.

The Uefa Champions League and French League winning coach took off Salma Amani and Tagnaout for the equally dangerous Sanaa Mssoudy (61st minute) and Imane Saoud (67th minute) respectively.

Changing gears 

Mssoudy won a 69th minute freekick against a tired Joan Nabirye that was beautifully delivered into the box by captain Ghizlane Chebbak and headed home by Nesryne El Chad to restore the lead. 

With a game to chase, Lutalo reacted by bringing on winger Viola Nambi for striker Ritah Kivumbi, who has struggled to be of effect in the competition.

In the 79th minute, he also withdrew Fazila Ikwaput for Joanita Ainembabazi.

But it was instead Chebbak that made it 3-1 from the spot after Komuntale, despite being completely in control of the ball in the box, was judged to have recklessly slapped Ayane after another Var intervention in the 84th minute. 

That goal broke completely Uganda's spirit and leaves them hanging at the bottom of the table.

Player Rankings - Out of 10

Ruth Aturo - 5.5

Good at aerial balls but did not command her backline well for Morocco's second

Asia Nakibuuka - 6

Tried to keep Tagnaout, who kept switching wings, quiet in the first half

Sumaya Komuntale - 6.5

Perhaps very deserving of the first yellow card for a high boot but harsh second one.

Also delivered a sumptuous goal

Margaret Namirimu - 6

Was allover the place in the first quarter of the game but recovered to compete for every ball

Phiona Nabbumba - 6

A commendable shift in a position she wouldn't want to play 

Joan Nabirye - 6

An early pack of nerves and late tiredness will make many forget she was neat in between

Shamirah Nalugya - 7 

Played with purpose. Picked many good passes, hustled and drew fouls

Sandra Nabweteme - 5.5

Picked many good passes, playing in a new midfield role, but also had many blind ones early on

Ritah Kivumbi - 4.5

Another evening to forget

Fazila Ikwaput - 5

Needed to give more defensively and creatively

Fauzia Najjemba - 5.5

Worked hard again but again couldn't find the target on two occasions

*Viola Nambi and Joanita Ainembabazi didn't have enough time to affect the game.

Coach George Lutalo - 6

Forced to chop and change to no effect. He needs to use his bench better and restore defensive discipline 

WOMEN AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 

GROUP A RESULTS

Burkina Faso 0-1 Senegal

Uganda 1-3 Morocco

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