Africa

Uganda falls short against Algeria in Afcon qualifiers opener

It was a frustrating night for coach Micho’s side after Farouk failed to convert a penalty that would have levelled the game before the end of the first half.

ALGIERS, ALGERIA: Uganda Cranes started its Total Energies African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers campaign on a low note after falling to Algeria 2-0 in Algiers on Saturday night.

It was a frustrating night for coach Micho’s side after Farouk failed to convert a penalty that would have levelled the game before the end of the first half.

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The penalty spot came two minutes after Algeria scored their first goal in the 28th minute. The Desert Foxes, who missed the services of Manchester City starman Riyadi Mahrez who is out due to injury got their first goal through Aissa Mandi and ended the half-time 1-0.

Although the Cranes looked like an improved side in the opening minutes of the second half they were unable to defend against Algeria’s striker Youcef Belaili who made a solo run and dribbled past 5 Ugandan players to score the second goal in the 80th minute.

Despite the loss, Uganda’s custodian Charles Lukwago had an outstanding performance, making a couple of saves to stop Algeria’s forwards including a save from Belaili in the first half. Uganda struggled to dominate possession and as well failed to create chances on the opponent’s goal. Although Miya tried to look for a goal when he was set up by Milton Karisa, his effort went wide.

After failing to impress in Algiers, the Cranes will be hoping to make amends when they host Niger in their second game slated for Wednesday, June 8 at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende. In another Group F game, Tanzania held Niger in a one-all-draw at Stade de I’Amitie. The results mean that Uganda is currently sitting at the bottom of Group F with no point.

Algeria is topping Group F with three points while Tanzania and Nigeria have one point each. Uganda Cranes is hoping to return to the continental showpiece in the 2023 edition after failing to qualify in the last edition of the championship. A win for Uganda in their next game will polish their hopes despite having a poor beginning.

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