By Simon Abaho
Uganda Cranes consolidated second spot in Group E of the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.
The Cranes edged the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda 1-0 on Matchday four played at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende to complete a double over their neighbors.
Forward Aziz Fahad Bayo was on target for the lone strike of the game played behind closed doors because of the fans restriction to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus.
Bayo, a center forward at FC Ashdod in Israel, scored in the 22nd minute after a curling corner kick from Isaac Muleme.
Uganda would have earlier scored had Muleme’s in-swing free-kick been connected by Simba Sports Club midfielder Tadeo Lwanga.
Vipers’ and SuperSport United midfielders Bobosi Byaruhanga and Moses Waiswa respectively had different long-distance efforts miss targets narrowly.
Rwanda huffed and puffed as they were a complete threat to Uganda via the numerous set pieces delivered towards the Ugandan goal area but goalkeeper Charles Lukwago as well as defenders Timothy Denis Awany, skipper Denis Iguma, left-back Abdul Aziz Kayondo and Enock Walusimbi were equal to the task.
Kevin Muhiire, Jacques Tuyisenge, Meddie Kagere, Rafael York and Yannick Mukunzi all had efforts towards the Ugandan goal.
Uganda Cranes lost defender Awanyi through injury as Livingstone Mulondo, a defender at Vipers, made his long-awaited debut for Uganda Cranes.
Other locally-based players introduced in the game were Martin Kizza, Yunus Sentamu, Shafik Kagimu and Ibrahim Orit.
Rwanda’s final attempt towards Lukwago was through York but the effort flew over the goal bar.
Rwanda painfully bowed out of the qualifiers even with two rounds left having collected a single point in four matches.
Mali beat Kenya 1-0 at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
Uganda Cranes maintain the second position with 8 points, Kenya in third with 2 points as West Africans Mali still leads the group on 10 points.
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