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2022 WAFCON:Crested Cranes play the Teranga Lionesses in second Group A game

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The Uganda Women national team, Crested Cranes will face Senegal in their first game of the 2022 Total Energies Women Africa Cup Of Nations in Rabat, Morocco .

The two group A teams will play each other at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex on Sunday at 6pm.

This is going to be Uganda’s second(2nd) appearance at the tournament in the last 22 years where since the ladies didn’t go past the group stage in the year 2000, finishing third in Group A with 4 points after one win( against Zimbabwe) and draw with Re-union.

Olivier Mbekeka one of the players in the 2000 Crested Cranes team that played in South Africa.

The Crested Cranes got to Morocco in what many call a miraculous way shocking their most defiant opponent Ethiopia before being gifted a return ticket thanks to Kenya’s withdrawal from the final qualifier game just like in the year 2000 when Congo did the same.

This team is managed by Coach George Lutalo who was awarded the job in September 2021 and with his experience helped the team go past the Ethiopia ladies on penalties, a result that was good enough to push them to the WAFCON.

With atmost success in the 2022 CECAFA Women’s Senior Challenge Cup on home soil, the Crested Cranes come into this tournament with confidence that they can improve their record in the tournament.

This team has a number of star players that can change a given game the notable ones being; Finland-based goalkeeper and Captain Ruth Aturo.

CECAFA tournament MVP Fazila Ikwaput, FUFA Women Super League top scorer Hasifah Nassuna, Kazakhstan Women’s Cup winner Fauzia Najjemba, Rita Kivumbi who plays in Sweden and forward Violah Nambi who piles her trade in Austria.

The Crested Cranes had a practise game against the Cooper queens of Zambia which ended 5-0 in favour of the Cranes courtesy of goals from Violah Nambi (2), Ritah Kivumbi, Fauzia Najjemba and Usual suspect Fazila Ikwaput

Ritah Kivumbi dribbling past a Zambian player in a practice game.

On the otherside, Senegal just like Uganda also head to the WAFCON for the second time in their history.

The Teranga Lionesses beat Liberia in the first round of qualifying into the next, only to upset Mali, who had reached the 2018 WAFCON semi finals, to ensure their second appearance at the tournament.

Just like many of the African countries, Senegal have invested in the women’s game, with the nation recently reaching the final round of the African qualifiers for the U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The Teranga Lionesses are managed by their long serving coach Mame Moussa Cisse who has been trying over and over again with that failed attempt in 2016 but she has hope in her players;

The eyes will be set onto the France-based trio Safietou Sagna who is the team captain, Marseille playmaker Awa Diakhate and Nguenar Ndiaye who will be up for the task of tormenting the Ugandan defence.

The Senegal team that played against Mali in the WAFCON qualifiers.

The other player to look out for is one that will be showcasing her talent at the age of 16,Hapsatou Malado Diallo.

Probable lineups.

Crested Cranes.

Ruth Aturo(C), (GK), Asia Nakibuka, Aisha Nantongo, Yudaya Nakayenze, Sumaiya Komuntale, Joan Nabirye, Tracy Jones Akiror, Hasifah Nassuna, Fauzia Najjemba, Violah Nambi, Ritah Kivumbi.

Senegal.

Ndeye Meïssa Diaw (GK), Salimata Ndiaye, Anta Dembele, Meta Camara, Mbayang Sow, Safiétou Sagna (C), Ndeye Awa Diakhaté,Jeannette Sagna, Nguenar Ndiaye, Mama Diop, Astou Ngom.

Group A has only four nations consisting of Hosts Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda

In the first tournament and group game, Morocco edged Burkina Faso 1-0 courtesy of a Ghizlane Chebbak first half free kick sending them top of the log with 3 points and 1 goal.

The Atlas lionesses celebrating their only goal of the game.


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