Sheryl Botes starts Crested Cranes tenure with draw against Morocco

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Sinan RAJUB SENOGA

Morocco 1-1 Uganda

Crested Cranes newly appointed head coach Sheryl Botes Ulanda started her new tenure with a 1-1 draw against Morocco in an international friendly game played at the Pere Jego Stadium in Casablanca.

Botes handed a debut to Kawempe Muslim defender Shakira Nankwanga who started in the right back in the only significant change from the most previous selections.

Joanita Ainembabazi started upfront as the team’s lead striker while goalkeeper Daisy Nakaziro started in between the sticks.

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This was also the third game for Jorge Vilda as the Morocco head coach who was appointed two months ago after winning the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Spain in August.

Uganda took an early lead in the 8th minute through Fauzia Najjemba who converted from the penalty mark following Siham Boukhami’s handball in the forbidden area.

Moments later, Najjemba thought she had scored the second Joan Nabirye’s nice pass but her strike was cancelled for offside.

Morocco were awarded a penalty in the 30th minute after Bridget Nabisaalu was adjudged to have handled the ball in the forbidden area.

Nakaziro brilliantly saved Ghizlane Chebbak’s resultant penalty to preserve Uganda’s lead.

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After numerous attempts, Morocco equalized through Elodie Nakkack who capitalized on a lose ball to beat Nakaziro and her defense in the 64th minute.

The Atlas Lionesses nearly found a winning goal in the 78th minute when Yasmin Zouhir struck the cross bar before Sakina Ouzraoui failed to score from the subsequent rebound.

The two sides will meet again in the second game on Tuesday 5th December in Rabat.

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Crested Cranes XI; Daisy Nakaziro (GK), Shakira Nankwanga, Sumaya Komuntale, Shadia Nankya, Bridget Nabisaalu, Joan Nabirye, Phiona Nabbumba, Catherine Nagadya, Joanita Ainembabazi (Lillian Kasuubo), Viola Nambi, Fauzia Najjemba (Zaina Nandede)

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