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AFCON 2019: Okwi Stars as Cranes Fly Past Lesotho

2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Uganda 3-0 Lesotho
Mandela National Stadium

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi was in scintillating mode on Saturday as Uganda Cranes secured victory against Lesotho at Mandela National Stadium.

Okwi netted a brace and won a penalty that was converted Farouk Miya as the Cranes registered a 3-0 win at home.

Sebastien Desabre made only one change from the team that drew goalless against Tanzania last month with striker Edrisa Lubega who was making his first Cranes start replacing suspended Murushid Jjuko.

Dennis Iguma who played in midfield against Tanzania was this time round drifted to centre back to partner Hassan Wasswa while Okwi played on the right flank with Moses Waiswa returning to the centre of the park.

Cranes started like a house on fire needing an early goal. First, Okwi’s cross went just across the face of the goal with no one to tap home while Miya too fired just wide inside the opening five minutes.

Uganda Cranes Team That Started The Game Against Lesotho. Courtesy Photo

On the other end, the visitors almost took the lead when poor goalkeeping from Dennis Onyango gifted Setho Moshoeshoe but the Khalid Aucho threw his body on the line to save.

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Okwi got the opener in the 11th minute after cutting through on the right before his thunderous strike off his left foot found the back of the net at the near post.

Lesotho almost levelled matters instantly with Moshoeshoe released on the right off a quick counter attack but his fumbled with the ball.

Five minutes after the half hour mark, Uganda doubled the lead through Miya’s penalty after Okwi was brought down inside the area.

Miya calmed his nerves to send goalkeeper Likano Mputhu the wrong way.

At the start of the second half, Lubega had two chances in succession but failed to burry them.

He was later productive setting up Okwi for his second on the day and Uganda’s third to stretch the lead.

Desabre called for changes introducing Saddam Juma for Joseph Ochaya while Patrick Kaddu and Isaac Muleme came on later for Lubega and Waiswa respectively.

The win takes Uganda back to the top of the table in group L on seven points ahead of Cape Verde on four, Lesotho and Tanzania each on two.

Uganda Starting XI: Dennis Onyango,Nico Wakiro Wadada,Godfrey Walusimbi, Hassan Wasswa, Dennis Iguma,Khalid Aucho, Emmanuel Okwi,Moses Waiswa, Edrisa Lubega, Faruku, Joseph Ochaya

Lesotho XI:

Mohau Kuenane (G.K), Mafa Moremoholo (Captain), Basia Makepe, Tsoarelo Bereng, Neris Hlompho Kalake, Tsepo Toloane, Sera Motebang, Jane Thaba Ntso, Tumelo Khutlang, Nkau Lerotholi, Mabuti Potloane

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