SC Villa’s Travis Mutyaba confidently shot past Tanzanian goalie Aishi Manula at four minutes to full time, to reap all three points for the cranes at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Sunday.
The cranes beat Tanzania in round one of the 2023 CHAN Qualifiers (Central East Zone), to open up their campaign with a win.
Coming off the bench for Milton Kariisa, Mutyaba won possession against Mohamed Hussein who had intercepted a long ball from Rogers Mato, to make it count for Uganda in the second half.
With two goalless friendlies before the encounter, against Zanzibar and Ethiopia, one would hardly believe a “strikerless” cranes would yield a positive result from the game. However much it was not a convincing win, the goal was a beauty.
Coach Micho’s target to do well on the road and finish off the job at Kitende next week might have been exceeded since he was ready to settle for a draw.
Team captain Milton Karisa missed by a whisker to give his side an early lead in the fourth-minute after failing to slot the ball into the net off a clean play from Moses Waiswa.
The Taifa Stars had a chance to level scores and rescue a point in the 88th minute but an offside call from the assistant referee on Danny Lyang did just enough to save the cranes.
Both teams now wait for a return leg to be played at the St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende on the 3rd of September, next weekend, with the winner on aggregate progressing to the final tournament in Algeria.