The National Under 20 Women’s team, commonly known as the Queen Cranes, is in the midst of intensive preparations for the upcoming third-round FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifier matches against Senegal. This exciting development marks a significant milestone for Ugandan women’s football.
A total of 28 players have been called up to join the team under the guidance of Coach Ayubu Khalifa Kiyingi. However, the Queen Cranes will have to manage without the valuable contributions of Captain Hadijah Nandago and Assistant Captain Phiona Nabulime, who are currently unavailable due to their Senior six examinations.
The matches are scheduled to take place on November 10th, 2023, in Dakar, Senegal, and a week later at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru. To reach this stage, the Queen Cranes put on a remarkable performance by eliminating Mozambique with an impressive 8-0 aggregate score over two legs.
The stakes couldn’t be higher, as the winner between Uganda and Senegal will secure a coveted spot in the fourth round of qualifiers. This pivotal round will ultimately determine which four African teams will earn the privilege of representing the continent at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Colombia next year.
Simultaneously, the interim head coach of the National senior women’s team, known as the Crested Cranes, Charles Ayieko Lukula, has meticulously selected a squad of 20 players. These athletes will represent Uganda in the return leg of the Paris Olympic Games qualifiers against Cameroon. The squad boasts three goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders, and seven strikers, showcasing a balanced and competitive lineup.
According to FUFA spokesperson Ahmed Hussein, the team has embarked on its journey, which involves a stopover in Addis Ababa before connecting to Douala, Cameroon, where the decisive match will be played.
Uganda approaches the return leg with a 2-0 advantage secured in a recent match held at FUFA Technical Center, Njeru. The aggregate winner of this contest between Uganda and Cameroon will proceed to face either Nigeria or Ethiopia in the subsequent qualification phase of the 2024 Paris Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, adding an extra layer of excitement and anticipation to the journey of these dedicated athletes.