The match that happened at Navbahor Stadium helped the Cranes sail through to this year’s Navruz cup final.
During the semi-final, Ugandan started in high gear as it broke the scoring just seven minutes into the game. Skipper Emmanuel Okwi headed in a Miya Faruk free-kick from the left after left-back Herbert Achai was fouled.
Later on in the 15th minute, right back Allan Kyambadde committed a foul on the far right corner resulting into a free-kick. The opponents however squandered this chance to level matters.
Momentarily, Milton Karisa picked up Moses Waiswa clever through Ball from the middle of the pack and unselfishly cut back to an unmarked Okwi. The Tajikistan keeper however came to the rescue in this round.
With seven minutes to recess, Lukwago gifted Tajikistan with an equalizer as his clearance of a back pass from Bobosi fell straight to Alisher Djalilov who made no mistake to level matters.
In the second half, Milutin Sredojevic side made two substitutions that saw Fahad Bayo and Allan Okello step on the pitch. They replaced Miya and debutant Marvin Youngman.
The Cranes tried their best to look for a winning goal but nothing they did seemed to work until the final whistle. This definitely meant they were on for penalty shootouts.
In the penalties, goalie Lukwago cleaned up his open play mistake saving two Penalties to drive Cranes to the finals.
Allan Kyambadde, Halid Lwaliwa, Derrick Kakooza, Rogers Mato all converted in their kicks respectively. However, Allan Okello had his effort saved before Bayo came through to seal it.
Milutin Sredojevic believes it was a good test for his side prior to the upcoming Ivory Coast 2023 AFCON Qualifiers.
“It wasn’t easy to play against Tajikistan given their technically gifted players, It is a very good test for us ahead of our upcoming engagements and we shall take the positives and correct the mistakes”- he said in the post-match press conference.
Uganda will now play hosts Uzbekistan on Tuesday 29th March in the finals. Uzbekistan beat Kyrgyzstan 3-1 in the other semi-final game encounter played.
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