Uganda bank on good fortunes on their return to international football

Rebecca Magoma. Photo Credit: Eddiba

Uganda return to the continental scene after over a year of dormancy and their first assignment will be the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) first round qualifiers.

The Crested Crane of Uganda will play  neighbours, the Harambee Starlets of Kenya, in the first round of the qualifiers set for February 26, 2018.

This will not be the first time the two sides are meeting and Federation of Uganda Football Association(FUFA) communications manager Ahmed Hussein knows the fixture won’t be easy at all.

“We shall prepare well for the game because we know the quality of the opposition.

“We are just coming back from international wilderness but games we have played against Kenya have helped us learn a few technical aspects of the game,” said Hussein.

CECAFA Meeting

In 2016, the sides met twice with Kenya picking a double over their Ugandan counterparts.

In the first meeting, Kenya handed Uganda a 4-0 rout in an international friendly fixture in July at the Moi Stadium, Kisumu.

The sides met in the CECAFA Women’s tournament that was hosted in Jinja, Uganda, where Kenya routed Uganda another 4-0 in the preliminaries.

Kenya’s Superiority

Kenya will be expected to dominate in this match considering the fact that have experience from playing international matches.

Harambee Starlets graced the 10th edition of AWCON finals that was played in Cameroon, which saw powerhouse Nigeria clinch the title from the hosts.

Although Kenya posted a dismal performance crashing out in the preliminary round, it was a good platform for the team to build on for future assignments.

Apart from AWCON finals, Kenya participated in the 2017 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations(COSAFA) Women’s Championship that was held in Zimbabwe last Month and finished fourth behind Zambia, Zimbabwe and eventual winners South Africa.

There’s a possibility for the sides meeting again during the CECAFA championship that is set for Rwanda next Month before the qualifiers.

24 teams will take part in the qualifiers with two-time champions, Equatorial Guinea, making a comeback following a FIFA ban. Egypt, who made their second appearance in the finals last year, will not feature.

Seeded Nations

  1. 20 teams will battle in the first round of the qualifiers with the top four ranked nations earning first round byes.

Holders, the Super Falcons of Nigeria, 2016 finalists Cameroon, semi-finalists South Africa and Equatorial Guinea, get first round byes.

Seven nations will join hosts Ghana in the AWCON finals set for November 17 to December 1. Only the top three nations will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

First round fixtures:

Senegal vs Algeria

Libya vs Ethiopia

Morocco vs Ivory Coast

Burkina Faso vs Gambia

Congo vs Central Africa

Lesotho vs Swaziland

Tanzania vs Zambia

Namibia vs Zimbabwe

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