KAMPALA- Uganda were imperious as they beat Tanzania 5-0 at StarTimes Stadium – Lugogo on Saturday to progress to the final round of the Fifa Women U-17 World Cup qualifiers 6-2 on aggregate.Prior to the game, coach Ayub Khalifan had stated: “a single goal can eliminate Tanzania but it won’t be enough for the pride of our country and fans. Expect goals.”
If that statement bordered on arrogance, it was justified by the performance on the day that set up a final qualification round date due in May with Cameroon – who eliminated Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 – ahead of the November World Cup in India.
Tanzania had come with a 2-1 cushion and bar a first minute chance fluffed by Fauziah Najjemba,the visitors showed they could continue from where they left off in Dar-es-Salaam a fortnight ago as Joyce Meshak hit the bar twice in the third and 23rd minute.
Shortly after riding their luck, Uganda raced to the other end and Margaret Kunihira headed in a cross from Najjemba but she was judged to have pushed the Tanzania keeper Asha Ismail Mrisho.
From that moment, Uganda,rallied by a partisan and packed crowd, took control of the first half owing to the energy and drive of Shamira Nalugya. They were rewarded with a goal from Kunihira in the 43rd minute.
In the second half, Uganda’s energy seemed to ebb away as they retreated into their own half as a 1-0 win could see them through – occasionally Kunihira and Nalukenge went on solo attacking runs.
Tanzania kept pushing and should have converted when Uganda keeper Daphine Nyayenga failed to clear the ball in the 56th minute.
Uganda, however, recovered when Najjemba swerved a freekick for Uganda’s second in the 75th minute. Four minutes later,Mrisho was punished for misjudging a long range clearance from Grace Aluka.
At 3-0 Uganda were in cruise control but one name – Juliet Nalukenge – was off the scoresheet.
She got her moment in the 88th minute as she twisted her neck to turn in a free-kick from Aluka before doubling her money for Uganda’s fifth in stoppage time.
Nalukenge is now the qualifiers’ top scorer with five goals – alongside Tanzania’s Aisha Masaka and Ghana’s Ophelia Amponsah. She will expect to increase her tally against Cameroon,who have been to the U-17 World Cup and won the Africa U-17 Nations Cup twice.
“I told the girls that we had to use every opportunity that we got and the second half was wonderful.
We had played 13 internationals before the game in Dar and we had not lost. So I told them that what happened in Dar was
first half and we can correct it in the second half at home and we did that,” Khalifan said.
FIFA WOMEN U-17 WC QUALIFIER
FIRST ROUND - SECOND LEG
Uganda 5-0 Tanzania
Uganda win tie 6-2 on aggregate
OTHER FIRST LEG RESULTS
Zambia 2-3 South Africa
Morocco w/o Botswana
Sao Tome and Principe 0-10 Cameroon
Liberia 0-10 Ghana
Guinea 2-11 Nigeria
SECOND ROUND QUALIFIERS
First Leg (May1-3): Uganda vs. Cameroon
Second Leg (May 15-17): Cameroon vs. Uganda