Women’s Olympic Qualifiers (second leg)
Cameroon 3-0 Uganda [3-2 Aggregate]
Doula, (Cameroon): In a heart-wrenching defeat on Tuesday evening, Uganda Women’s Football Team, the Crested Cranes missed out on a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics after narrowly losing to Cameroon 3-2 on aggregate score.
The match started with both teams displaying their defensive prowess, with the Ugandan goalkeeper, Bridget Nabisaalu, making a crucial goal-line clearance in the 23rd minute.
The score remained goalless until the 27th minute when Cameroon’s Ajara Njoya found the back of the net, breaking the deadlock and giving her team the lead.
At halftime, the Ugandan coach decided to make some changes, hoping to turn the tides in their favor. Fazila Ikwaput and Catherine Nagadya were replaced by Elizabeth Nakigozi and Joanitah Ainembabazi, respectively.
However, despite the changes, it was Cameroon who struck again in the 46th minute, extending their lead to 2-0.
As the game progressed, the Crested Cranes fought tirelessly to get back in contention. Anita Namata was brought on in the 65th minute to inject new energy into the team. The Cranes were unable to break through Cameroon’s solid defence, and the score remained 2-0 in favour of the Indomitable Lionesses.
With the aggregate score at 2-2, the match headed into extra time in a bid to determine the winner. The second half of extra time began with both teams still deadlocked at 2-2 on aggregate. Cameroon once again showed their resilience and determination, scoring a crucial third goal that sealed their victory.
As the final whistle blew, the Crested Cranes, unfortunately, fell short, with the scoreboard showing Cameroon 3-0 Uganda and an aggregate score of 3-2 in favour of the Lionesses. It was a devastating end to Uganda’s journey towards Olympic qualification.
On the other hand, the Indomitable Lionesses celebrated their victory and secured their place in the next stage of the Olympic Games qualifiers. They will now face the formidable Super Falcons of Nigeria in what promises to be an intense battle.
Although it is the end of the road for the Crested Cranes this time around, their spirited performance throughout the qualifiers showed great promise.
The women’s team can take pride in their achievements and use this experience as motivation to continue working towards success in future tournaments.
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