10:42 pm - Thursday September 18, 2014

Red Devils Peck Cranes 3 – 1

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Henry Kalungi deflected in an own goal in the very first minute before Lepicier Tsonga’s penalty and Matt Missilou Massamba late strike handed the Red Devils the advantage while denting Uganda’s hopes in the run-up to South 2013 Nations Cup.

Mike Sserumaga scored Uganda’s consolation, a goal that will have given Uganda and coach Bobby Williamson a lifeline heading into the return leg on June 15 in Kampala.

Tonny Mawejje will miss the return leg following the midfielder’s sending off in the second half after two bookable offences.

The Cranes kicked the game off and uncharacteristically lost possession immediately and Kalungi, surprisingly getting the nod ahead of the usually present Isaac Isinde alongside skipper Andy Mwesigwa in central defence, conceded a free kick in a dangerous area.

Oscar Ewolo took the free kick and the ball deflected off Kalungi, beating Dennis Onyango in goal.

The Cranes hit back when Godfrey Walusimbi’s gushing run down the left produced a cross for Sserumaga to thump home the equalizer on 26 minutes.

Then there scenes of concern for Cranes as Onyango was carried off injured after 30 minutes to be replaced by Abel Dhaira.

Dhaira was immediately called into service as he two superlative saves to keep the score level going into half time.

The second period wasn’t any different for the IBV Ugandan goalkeeper as the home side pummeled the Cranes.

The pressure saw Mwesigwa concede a penalty which Tsonga tucked away safely on 69 minutes.

Missilou completed the home side’s professional performance when the Congolese beat the offside trap with 10 minutes to go to beat Dhaira.

Bobby did introduce Emma Okwi for Sserunkuma and Brian Umony for Sserumaga late on but nothing could stop coach Jean-Guy Wallemme’s side from a deserved three points and goals.

Swedish-born Martin Mutumba will have to wait for another chance to make his debut for the Cranes after he watched the entire action from the bench.

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