African Games 2023: Queen Cranes stand firm in 2-0 win over Ethiopia

Accra, (GH): Uganda’s U20 Women National Team, the Queen Cranes, showcased their prowess as they secured a commanding 2-0 victory over Ethiopia in their second match of the African Games 2023 tournament.

Led by the inspirational captain Catherine Nagadya and fueled by the dynamic left-back Docus Lwalisa, the Queen Cranes stamped their authority on the game from the onset. 

Nagadya struck first, capitalizing on a precise pass from Juliet Nalukenge to slot home in the early minutes of the match, sending waves of excitement through the Ugandan camp.

Lwalisa further bolstered Uganda’s lead with a sublime free-kick that left Ethiopia’s goalkeeper Genet Ermiyas Iltro rooted to the spot, doubling the advantage for the Queen Cranes in the 29th minute. 

Her relentless efforts nearly yielded another goal with a ferocious strike that rattled the crossbar, epitomizing Uganda’s attacking intent.

However, adversity struck just before halftime when defender Shakirah Nankwanga was forced off the field due to injury, prompting coach Sheryl Botes to make a tactical substitution, bringing on midfielder Krusum Namutebi to maintain defensive solidity.

As the second half unfolded, Ethiopia launched a spirited onslaught, testing Uganda’s defensive resilience. Yet, goalkeeper Sharon Kaidu stood firm, thwarting every threat with unwavering composure, ensuring Ethiopia remained at bay.

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The Queen Cranes exhibited versatility and depth as coach Botes utilized her substitutions wisely, injecting fresh energy into the team with the likes of Shamirah Nalugya, Immaculate Kizza, and Harima Kanyago, further consolidating Uganda’s dominance on the field.

With this crucial victory, Uganda now sits on four points in two games, setting the stage for a thrilling encounter against hosts Ghana in their final group stage match. 

The win not only propels the Queen Cranes closer to qualification but also serves as a testament to their determination and resilience on the continental stage.

Prior to the match, the U20 Women’s National Team received words of encouragement from FUFA President Hon. Moses Jessim Magogo, who emphasized the significance of belief and determination in achieving success, igniting a sense of unity and purpose within the squad.

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With their sights set on further glory, the Queen Cranes march forward with unwavering resolve, poised to etch their names in the annals of Ugandan football history. 

As they continue their quest for African Games glory, the Queen Cranes remain a beacon of hope and inspiration for football enthusiasts across the nation, epitomizing the spirit of resilience, unity, and excellence.

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