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Lowly ranked South Sudan shock Uganda Cranes in AFCON qualifier

Uganda Cranes team lining-up ahead of the match against South Sudan on Monday afternoon. FUFA PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The South Sudan national football team have shocked Uganda Cranes 1-0 in a Group B 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier match played at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.

Uganda Cranes needed a win to qualify directly for Africa’s biggest tournament, but a 37th minute penalty converted by Tito Okello was enough to see South Sudan get their first win in the qualifiers.

Last week Uganda Cranes also beat South Sudan by the same margin at the St. Marys Stadium, Kitende. But the win by 168th world ranked nation against 76th ranked Uganda remains a major upset.

Uganda Cranes coach Jonathan McKinstry made six changes to the team that stopped South Sudan last week, but the hosts played a better game dominating in play. After 32 minutes midfielder Khalid Aucho was sent-off after he pulled down a South Sudan player. Five minutes later another defensive blunder resulted into a penalty which Ugandan born striker Okello made no mistake scoring.

In the second half Uganda’s technical bench made some changes, but the South Sudan team defended in numbers. Substitute Emanuel Okwi and Farouk Miya had some scoring chances, but failed to convert. 

South Sudan also had Abdallah Asad Musa sent-off after 80 minutes. Uganda Cranes tried to pile the pressure to get an equalizer, but failed. 

In another Group B game played Burkina Faso held hosts Malawi to a goalless draw. Burkina Faso remain top of the group with 8 points, while Uganda Cranes have 7 points, while Malawi have 4 and South Sudan 3.

Uganda now needs to pick 4 points from the remain two games to qualify for Afcon. Uganda will next host table leaders Burkina Faso on March 22 next year, before facing Malawi away on March 30th.

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URN

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