Afcon 2017: Cranes beat Botwana


Uganda overcame Botswana 2-1 in a crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier on Saturday afternoon.

The Group D encounter was played at the Francistown Sports Complex in Botswana’s second City, Francistown.

The victory took Uganda to the top of Group D standings, while Botswana remained third on the qualifying group.

The Cranes of Uganda began the match brightly with their captain Geoffrey Massa being ruled offside just two minutes into the crucial encounter.

However, the deadlock was broken in the ninth minute when Kizito Luwagga ran onto Tony Mawejje’s long ball into the Botswana box and fired past goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe.

The home side were awarded a free-kick outside the Uganda box six minutes later and Kabelo Seakanyeng forced Uganda keeper Onyango into a comfortable save from the set-piece.

Massa came close to doubling his side’s lead in the 24th minute when he unleashed a thunderous shot from a free-kick which tipped over the crossbar by Dambe.

Zebras head coach Peter Butler decided to make his first change in the 36th minute. Ofentse Nato was replaced by fellow central midfielder Lesego Galenamotlhale.

Cranes shot-stopper Onyango was called into action two minutes before halftime when he gathered Galabgwe Moyana’s curling free-kick as Botswana searched for an equalizer.

Onkabetse Mankgatai level matters for Botswana when he pounced onto a loose ball inside the Uganda box and he beat Onyango from close range four minutes into the second-half.

However, the Zebras’ celebrations were cut short as Khalid Aucho silenced the home crowd with a good finish after running onto a long ball into the Botswana box.

In the 65th minute, Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic made his first change introducing Godfrey Walusimbi for Farouk Miya.

Lemponye Tshireletso had a chance to level matters for the Zebras with six minutes left on the clock, but his effort hit the crossbar with Uganda shot-stopper Onyango beaten.

Nevertheless, the Cranes of Uganda managed to contain Botswana’s Zebras and the former emerged 2-1 winners on the day.

Botswana (0) 1 (Makgantai 50′)

Uganda (1) 2 (Luwagga 9′, Aucho 53′)

Botswana: Dambe, Gadibolae, Mafoko, Sosome, Ramoroka, Nato (Galenamotlhale 36′), Ditsele, Seakanyeng (Makgantai 46′), Moyana, Mogorosi, Ngele (Tshireletso 73′)

Uganda: Onyango, Guma, Ochaya, Isinde, Junko, Wasswa, Khalid, Mawejje, Miya (Wasimbi 65′), Luwagga (Mugerwa 89′), Massa (Okwi 70′)

Super Sport.

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