The Uganda National Beach Soccer Team started the Copa Dar es Salaam Beach Soccer Tournament in style with a hard fought win over Tanzania in a shootout.
The scoreboard indicated three on each side at the end of the three normal periods pushing the game to the extra three minutes which weren’t also enough to separate the two sides.
Lule Paul scored in his own net during the first period of the game giving the hosts an early lead while Davis Kasujja leveled for Uganda after a few minutes thus ending the first period on level.
Godfrey Lwesibawa headed in the equalizer for Uganda at the start of the second period but Jaruph Juma restored parity till the end of the second period.
Stephano Wales and Lule Paul scored for Tanzania and Uganda respectively during the third period thus forcing the official to push the game to extra three minutes which seemed too little for more goals to separate the two sides.
More pressure mounted on both sides when the first referee blew the final whistle calling for shootouts to separate the two sides.
Godfrey Lwesibawa wasn’t afraid to lead the way and converted the first penalty for Uganda and then came time for team skipper and custodian Meddie Kibirige to save his team which he did by comfortably stopping Tanzania’s Abdulkadir Ally Tabib.
Uganda’s Magwali Ronald shot wide to give the hosts some hope of coming back to the game. Juma Sultan Ibrahim shot wide the second one for Tanzania and Byaruhanga Rica did no mistake rather than converting the last one for the Sand Cranes sending every one into wild celebrations.
The Sand Cranes now stand second log with one point second to Seychelles with three points after winning their first game against Burundi 6-3.
Team captain Meddie Kibirige thanked his teammates for the spirited fight and urged them to put celebrations on hold until the final day of the tournament.
“I thank my teammates for the spirited fight and tireless efforts that led us to victory. It hasn’t been an easy encounter but a point off the hosts is enough for us to build on in our bid to win the championship,” Kibirige said after the game.