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The Cranes earned their first victory in the tournament after tying the opening game against the Indomitable Lions.
Uganda claimed their first victory in the pre-African Nations Championship tournament after beating Zambia 2-0 at OmnsiSports Stadium in Yaoundé on Monday.
Vianne Ssekajugo and Steven Mukwala scored in either half to give the Cecafa nation victory over the team of their former coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.
Zambia were the first team to pose a real threat looking for a first goal in the 13th minute when Benedict Chepeshi made a promising run down the wing, but Paul Willa did well to intercept a dangerous pass that was destined for Moses Phiri.
Although Uganda took the time to assert their presence, it was they who took a surprising advantage in the 24th minute when Ssekajugo found the back of the net.
Zambia’s Bruce Musakanya received a yellow card in the 40th minute after a dangerous tackle to striker, Ssekajugo.
Chipolopolo almost got the equalizer in the 44th minute, but Paul Katema’s shot was deflected slightly and Uganda went into the break with a 1-0 lead in a match that saw few chances in the first half.
In the opening moments of the second half, McKinstry made a change when Shafiq Kagimu replaced Tony Mawejje, who had a lively first half. The change came after the strategist had promised to give each player a fair chance in the competition before choosing the final Chan team.
Zambia failed to score on two clear occasions in the 50th and 53rd minutes, when Zacharia Chilongoshi launched a header before Spencer Sautu’s long-range shot missed.
McKinstry made another change in the 55th minute when Byaruhanga Bbosi was replaced by his young teammate Hassan Ssenyonjo.
The changes worked immediately, as the Cranes doubled their lead in the 60th minute when Mukwala, the 2019/20 Premier League top scorer, outscored Zambian Charles Kalumba on goal before scoring the second goal.
Uganda stood their ground and defended their lead without giving in, but big credit must go to the four behind, Lwaliwa, Eric Ssenjobe, Willa and Hassan Muhamad, who dealt with the Zambian attacks with palpable calm.
The Cranes’ next game will be against Niger, while Zambia will face Cameroon on Tuesday.
Uganda XI: Alionz Nafian, Eric Ssenjobe, Muhammad Hassan, Paul Willa, Halid Lwaliwa, Byaruhanga Bbosi, Tony Mawejje, Siadi Kyeyune, Viane Ssekajugo, Ibrahim Orit, Steven Mukwala.
Zambia XI: Charles Kalumba, Adrian Chama, Zachariah Chilongoshi, Benedict Chepeshi, Clement Mwape, Kelvin Kapumbu, Paul Katema, Bruce Musakanya, Collins Sikombe, Moses Phiri, Emmanuel Chabula.