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AFCON: Cranes secured much-needed win against Tanzania

Cranes players and coaches pray after win against Taifa

Cranes players and coaches pray after win against Taifa

Uganda Cranes claimed their first win of the 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 victory over Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium Tuesday night. 
The win came as a relief for head coach Milutin Sredojević Micho and his team, who had experienced a goal drought and only managed a single point in their previous three matches. The victory also keeps their hopes alive for qualifying for the continental showpiece.

Substitute Rogers Mato scored the crucial goal in the 90th minute of the game, which ended a frustrating match for both teams. Micho made four changes to the starting lineup, aiming to inject more creativity into the team, but the match unfolded with both teams appearing to assess each other's strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a less action-packed start to the game than expected.

The first half ended with very minimal goal-scoring opportunities created on either opponent’s goal. However, the match was subjected to an extensive delay towards the 40th minute when parts of the floodlights malfunctioned, resulting in a frustrating 30-35-minute halt before the game could resume for the remaining seven minutes before the break.

In the second half, Micho made additional changes to bolster the team's attacking prowess. His prayers were answered in stoppage time when Mato received a well-executed through pass from Faruku Miya and, struck the ball past the goalkeeper Aishi Manula, clinching a vital goal for the Cranes.
The victory elevates Uganda Cranes to a joint-second position in Group F with Taifa Stars, with both teams having four points from four games each. 

However, Algeria has already secured qualification from the group with 12 points. Uganda and Tanzania will have to fight tooth and nail for the remaining slot in their remaining fixtures.
The Cranes will host Algeria in their second last group game in June before they visit Niger to complete their fixtures. Tanzania will also play the same opponents, with the advantage of hosting Niger before travelling to Algeria for their final match.

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