Uganda, Burundi storm CECAFA Senior Women’s Championship semis
The Crested Cranes advanced to the knock-out round after defeating Djibouti 5-0 in the opening Group A match played today at the FUFA Technical Centre.
Burundi also advanced to the next round with a 2-1 victory against Rwanda in the second Group A match played as the regional championship opened on Day 3 on Friday.
Aisha Nantongo put Uganda ahead after 15 minutes in the previous encounter.
Djibouti maintained a high defensive line until Ugandan defender Margret Namirimu scored from beyond the box to make it 2-0.
After the break, the Djibouti squad attempted to reassemble, but they still lacked assault firepower. Sandra Nabweteme, Phiona Nabbumba (substitute), and Fazila Ikwaput scored for Uganda Crested Cranes.
Uganda Crested Cranes coach George Lutalo was pleased with his team’s performance. “It’s great to score a lot of goals and maintain a clean sheet. “We need to keep working hard to win our last group game against Burundi,” Lutalo concluded.
Sandrine Niyonkuru of Burundi scored twice in the second match to clinch her team’s progress to the knockout round. Niyonkuru put Burundi ahead after 13 minutes, but Zawadi Usanase equalized Rwanda.
In the second half, both sides went all out and generated several decent goal chances.
After 79 minutes, Rwanda’s Joseyne Mukantaganira took down replacement Aneilla Uwimana in the area, and the referee signaled straight for a penalty. Niyonkuru moved up and easily converted the penalty kick to make it 2-1.
Burundi captain Djafari Asha described the victory as “sweet” against a tough Rwandan team. “We’re excited to win our second match of the competition and go to the semi-finals,” said the captain.
Rwanda coach Hosthene Habimana said that his defenders’ two errors cost them the game. “We’re here to study and gain experience since we haven’t competed in this competition in a while,” he said.
Uganda currently leads Group A with six points and a higher goal differential than Burundi, which also has six points. The two teams, who will also compete in the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022 in July, will play each other on Sunday to determine who will lead the Group.
The action resumes on Saturday with Group B fixtures, with Ethiopia playing Tanzania and South Sudan facing Zanzibar.