Uganda’s hopes of returning to the Africa Cup of Nations finals are fading rapidly after the Cranes fell to neighbors Tanzania by a 1-0 score in Friday’s 2023 AFCON qualifying matchup. Simon Msuva finished a cross from Dickson Job in the second half for the game’s only goal at the Suez Canal Stadium in Egypt, moving the Taifa Stars into second place on four points. Uganda remain in last place on only one point, three behind Tanzania and a point back of third placed Niger.
Uganda head coach Micho Sredojevic showed urgency with his eleven with two strikers in the lineup but the Cranes continued their struggles in the attack. Under-20 national team captain Isma Mugulusi showed positive signs but forwards Emmanuel Okwi and Fahad Bayo were left to feed on scraps against a Tanzanian selection who managed the game well away from home. Joseph Ochaya came closest to breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark when a cross fell through to him but his shot was cleared by scrambling Taifa Stars defenders.
The match remained relatively even in the second half but Uganda’s wastefulness in attack would cost them when their defensive marking failed them as well in the 68th minute. Job received the ball on the right wing with little pressure and put in an accurate cross towards the near post, where Msuva met the ball with a strike that surged past Uganda goalkeeper Jamal Salim at his near post. Msuva’s goal was the difference in the end and now Uganda face a massive task when the teams meet in Dar es Salaam on March 28, where an under pressure Sredojevic needs his team to earn at least a draw.
Video of Msuva’s match winner is below.