Sports

Crested Cranes to face Cameroon battle in 2nd Round of 2024 Olympics qualifiers

Competition: 2024 Olympics Qualifiers ( second 2nd Round)
Date: Thursday, October 27, Uganda vs Cameroon (4 pm)
Venue: Fufa Technical Njeru.

Uganda’s National Women Football Team, the Crested Cranes will return to competitive action tomorrow (Thursday 26th October) when they face Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the second round of the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers.

The first leg of the two-legged affair against Cameroon will be hosted at the FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru, with the return leg scheduled for five days later in Douala, Cameroon.

Uganda reached this stage of the qualifiers after eliminating neighbours Rwanda on a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.

FUFA appointed coach Charles Lukula Ayiekoh to handle the Uganda Crested Cranes for a period of one month taking over from Ayub Khalifa who handled the team’s 2024 Olympic qualifier against Rwanda and the 2024 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifying loss to Algeria.

Ayiekoh joined the team four months after parting ways with Tanzanian giants Simba Queens.

The coach took over the team and started immediate preparations for the second-round qualifier against Cameroon with a total of 32 players summoned ahead of the team’s double-header against Cameroon.

One notable name that is ready to encounter the Cameroon fixture is Mallbackens striker Ritah Kivumbi, who last featured for the Crested Cranes at the 2022 WAFCON in Morocco.

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Meanwhile, the interim head coach, Charles Ayiekoh has dropped three notable senior players from the squad for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers (CAF) round two encounters against Cameroon.

The notable players include captain and goalkeeper Ruth Aturo, attacking midfielder Hasifa Nassuna, and striker Sandra Nabweteme, all of whom had cemented their slots in the national team set-up.

The trio recently are reported to have had less impact as the Cranes sailed past the She Amavubi of Rwanda (4-3) on aggregate in the first round played at the Kigali Pele stadium.

They also flopped as Uganda bowed out of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers after falling to Algeria (3-2) on aggregate.

Essentially, the Crested Cranes have had three months to prepare for the Cameroon fixture but the stark reality is that they are literally going to walk into a Lionesses’ den in Cameroon.

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Notably, Cameroon, ranked number 56 in the world, reached the quarterfinals of the Africa Women’s Championship last year, conceding twice and scoring thrice in four games. 

That strongly suggests Cameroon are more gigantic, considering that Uganda, ranked 161, laboured past Rwanda, ranked 163, and therefore, clearly have a shift to put in, before entering the den.

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