South Sudan shocked Uganda Cranes with 1-0 defeat in a Group B 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier match played at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Cranes needed a win to qualify directly for Africa’s biggest tournament, but a 37th-minute penalty converted by Ugandan born Tito Okello was enough to see South Sudan get their first win in the qualifiers.
Last week, 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.
Cranes coach, Jonathan McKinstry made six changes to the team that stopped South Sudan last week, but the hosts played a better game dominating the 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 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. Cranes tried to pile the pressure to get an equalizer but failed.
In another Group B game, Burkina Faso held hosts Malawi to a goalless draw. Burkina Faso remains top of the group with 8 points, while Uganda have 7 points, while Malawi has 4 and South Sudan 3.
Uganda now needs to pick 4 points from the remaining 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.