Uganda Cranes miss out on AFCON Qualification after 1-0 loss to Malawi

AFCON 2021 Qualifiers (Monday March 29, 2021)
Malawi 1-0 Uganda – Full-time score

The Uganda Cranes have bow out of the 2021 Qualification for the Total African Cup of Nations tournament after suffering a 1-0 loss to Malawi flames in the final matchday fixture of Group B played at the Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre, Malawi.

The result sees Malawi’s national football team (Flames) return to the continental tournament since 2010, while the Cranes will return home in dismay.

South African based striker Richard Mbulu was the hero again, with a diving header on the quarter hour mark to give an inspired Malawi the much needed victory to secure their third appearance at the AFCON finals.

The 27 year old also scored the sole goal and winner away to South Sudan last week to put Malawi back in contention in Group B of the qualifiers.

Mustapha Kizza passes the ball against Malawi Flames (Credit: FUFA Media)

Uganda Cranes had a penalty appeal in the 28th minute when Emmanuel Arnold Okwi was brought down in the goal area.

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This was however turned down by the Mozambiquan referee.

Uganda Cranes lost defender Brian Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu through injury and his place was taken by the Uganda U-20 captain Garvin Kizito Mugweri towards the end of the opening half for his senior debut.

Ten minutes into the second half, Uganda Cranes technical team made a double change.

Uganda Cranes XI Vs Malawi at Kamuzu stadium (Credit: FUFA Media)

Midfielder Tadeo Lwanga and Allan Okello were brought on for Mike Azira and Faruku Miya respectively.

Malawi joins West Africans Burkina Faso as the two successful countries from group B to the 2021 AFCON finals that will be hosted by Cameroon in January 2022.

The Uganda Cranes found themselves on the edge following a goalless draw with Group table leaders Burkina Faso in Kampala last week.

Uganda, ranked 12th in Africa and 83rd by FIFA,  failed to secure a much needed win at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.


1 Burkina Faso52352+39Qualify for final tournament
2 Malawi631245-110
3 Uganda622232+18
4 South Sudan51425−33

How both teams started

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Malawi XI: Earnest Kakhobwe, Stanley Sanudi, Charles Petro, Richard Mbulu, Alfred Manyozo Junior, Precious Sambani, Peter Banda, Robin Ngalande, John Banda, Revison Maganizo, Mzava Limbaikani

Subs: Brighton Munthali, Peter Cholopi, Chikoti Chirwa, Vincent Nyasulu, Chimwemwe Idana, Frank Gabadihno, Rafiq  Namwera, Kaira Chimango, Francisco Madinga, Mhone Micium

Head coach: Meke Mwase

Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (Goalkeeper & Captain), Nicholas Wadada, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Ronald Brian Mukiibi Ddungu, Murushid Juuko, Mike Azira, Moses Waiswa, Ibrahim Orit, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Mustafa Kizza


44’ Garvin Kizito Mugweri ON, Ronald Brian Mukiibi Ddungu OFF (Injury)

55’ Tadeo Lwanga ON, Mike Azira OFF

55’ Allan Okello ON, Faruku Miya OFF

60’ Yunus Ssentamu ON, Ibrahim Orit OFF

Subs Not Used: Salim Jamal (G.K), Charles Lukwago (G.K), William Luwagga Kizito, Daniel Isiagi Opolot, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Allan Kyambadde, Abdul Lumala

Head coach: Abdallah Mubiru

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