The Cranes picked up their first win in the tournament after drawing the initial game against the Indomitable Lions
Uganda picked up their first victory in the pre-African Nations Championship tournament after they saw off Zambia 2-0 at OmnsiSports Stadium in Yaounde on Monday.
Vianne Ssekajugo and Steven Mukwala scored in either half to hand the Cecafa nation victory over their former coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side.
Zambia were the first side to pose a real threat in search of an opener in the 13th minute when Benedict Chepeshi made a promising run down the wing, but Paul Willa did well to intercept a dangerous pass that was meant for Moses Phiri.
Although Uganda took time to assert their presence, it is they who took a surprising lead in the 24th minute when Ssekajugo found the back of the net.
Zambia’s Bruce Musakanya was yellow-carded in the 40th minute after a dangerous tackle on the goal scorer, Ssekajugo.
The Chipolopolo almost got an equaliser in the 44th minute but Paul Katema’s shot went out slightly wide, and Uganda went into the break with the 1-0 lead in a game which saw few chances created in the first half.
In the early moments of the second half, McKinstry made a change as Shafiq Kagimu replaced Tony Mawejje, who had a lively first half. The change came after the tactician had promised to give every player a fair chance in the competition before he picks the final Chan squad.
Zambia failed to score from two clear chances in the 50th and 53rd minute, as Zacharia Chilongoshi’s diving header went out before Spencer Sautu’s long-range shot missed the target
McKinstry made another change in the 55th minute when Byaruhanga Bbosi was replaced by his fellow young teammate Hassan Ssenyonjo.
The changes worked immediately as the Cranes doubled their lead in the 60th minute when Mukwala – the 2019/20 Premier League top scorer – outwitted Zambia’s Charles Kalumba in goal before he slotted home for the second goal.
Uganda stood firm and defended their lead without conceding but huge credit must go to the back four – Lwaliwa, Eric Ssenjobe, Willa and Hassan Muhamad – who dealt with Zambia’s attacks with palpable calmness.
The next game for the Cranes will be against Niger while Zambia will face Cameroon on Tuesday.
Uganda XI: Alionz Nafian, Eric Ssenjobe, Muhammad Hassan, Paul Willa, Halid Lwaliwa, Byaruhanga Bbosi, Tony Mawejje, Siadi Kyeyune, Viane Ssekajugo, Ibrahim Orit, Steven Mukwala.
Zambia XI: Charles Kalumba, Adrian Chama, Zachariah Chilongoshi, Benedict Chepeshi, Clement Mwape, Kelvin Kapumbu, Paul Katema, Bruce Musakanya, Collins Sikombe, Moses Phiri, Emmanuel Chabula.