NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5- “The final whistle at the Lugogo Stadium in Uganda will tell the story,” Those were the parting words from Uganda’s Crested Cranes coach Faridah Bulega after her side lost narrowly to Kenya 1-0 in the first leg of the African Women’s Cup of Nations Qualifier in Machakos.
Ahead of Sunday’s return tie in Kampala, Bulega is confident that her girls, who on both their last meetings with Kenya lost 4-0, will overturn the result and progress to the second and final round of qualification.
“I promise Ugandans that come Sunday, we will come out victorious. Just come to the Lugogo Stadium to see what will happen,” the tactician, beaming in immense confidence said.
She was pleased with the result and the performance of her girls over the tie where Lilian Adera’s 53rd minute wonder strike was the difference.
“According to records Kenya has been giving us three, four goals but I came here with a new regime of young players and I am happy with the result. For us we came here to defend and not to allow Kenya to give us goals as they were expecting,” Bulega told Capital Sport.
She praised her team for her resilience saying they executed her instructions to the latter.
Meanwhile, Starlets boss David Ouma was happy with the result, though not entirely comfortable with the slim score-line against the much improved Ugandans. Ouma noted that Uganda shot stopper Ruth Aturo made the difference especially with three saves in the second half.
“Heading into the second leg, we have to change our situations in terms of attack. We have to do better with the tap ins and curved balls and ensure that we don’t play directly to the keeper like we did. We also need to look at better ways of handling their long balls,” Ouma noted.
She was also in praise of right back Adera for not only her goal but the entire performance, noting she executed the pre-match plan to detail.
“We are trying to also bring in young players and you saw their performance; the likes of Cynthia (Shilwatso) did very well. I am glad we picked the win at home and we now need to go to Uganda and finish the job,” Ouma further noted.
Starlets will book a slot into the final round of qualification against Equatorial Guinea in June with at least a draw in Kampala or an outright win.
Skipper Wendy Achieng believes that they will be in a position to pick a win in the return tie and progress.
“I think we could have done better had we started the game well. But all the same, a win is a win. I am pleased that most of all we kept a clean sheet and now we have to go to Kampala and work harder to get the win. The team spirit is there and I believe we can do it,” the left back opined.
Kenya is looking to play in their second consecutive AWCON, having made their debut in Cameroon, 2016.