In the upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) Qualifier, Uganda’s national women’s football team, the Crested Cranes, is gearing up for a challenging match against Algeria in Oran. The first leg of this qualifier saw Uganda facing Algeria at the Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru, where they suffered a 2-1 loss.
Uganda is well aware of Algeria’s strengths, particularly their ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities, especially from crosses. The Crested Cranes, on the other hand, managed to disrupt Algeria’s midfield and defense during the previous match. Phionah Nabbumba, who shifted from right back to midfield, played a crucial role in this effort, along with substitute Aminah Nababi.
The performance of Nabbumba and Nababi has raised the possibility of them earning starting positions in the central midfield. However, interim coach Ayub Khalifa emphasizes the need for a flawless performance and impact from the bench.
Goalkeeper Vanessa Edith Karungi, who made her national team debut in Njeru, expressed optimism about the team’s spirit and their mission to defeat Algeria. She stated that the team believes in their ability to achieve this goal.
Coach Khalifa acknowledges the importance of taking scoring opportunities in the upcoming match. Uganda’s objective is to secure a victory by a margin of two goals to avoid complex tiebreakers. A one-goal victory would force a decision based on away goals, while a 2-1 win would lead to a penalty shootout.
The winner of this first-round encounter between Algeria and Uganda will advance to the second round, where they will face the winner of the match between Ethiopia and Burundi. The Ethiopia vs. Burundi match is currently tied at 1-1 and is scheduled to be decided on the same day in Addis Ababa.
The Crested Cranes’ probable starting lineup for the match includes Vanessa Karungi (goalkeeper); Asia Nakibuuka, Sumaya Komuntale, Shadia Nankya, Aisha Nantongo (defenders); Joan Nabirye, Hasifah Nassuna, Phionah Nabbumba (midfielders); Sandra Nabweteme, Fauzia Najjemba, Fazila Ikwaput (forwards).