Uganda, Botswana, Rwanda get a win, as  Ghana and South Africa stumble

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The Uganda Cranes secured their  first win of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after overcoming Somalia on Tuesday.

Crested Cranes

In the game played at Stade Du Municipal in Berkane, Morocco, Rogers Mato’s lone strike in the opening minutes was the difference, tapping home from close range in the fourth minute to help Uganda earn maximum points.
Coach Put Paul Joseph made three changes from the team that had lost 2-1 to Guinea last week with Isima Watenga started  in goal ahead of Salim Omar Magoola while Elvis Bwomono started at right back with Kenneth Semakula moved to the midfield.
Teenage midfielder and student of Amus College school -Bukedea  Allan Oyirwoth was handed his debut for the Senior National Team starting in midfield ahead of Bobosi Byaruhanga.
Oyirwoth had a remarkable outing, making the assist for Mato’s goal. A good run started by Travis Mutyaba saw him release Bwomono on the right wing and his cross found Oyirwoth inside the box to set up Mato who had an empty goal at his mercy.
Somalia were reduced to ten players following the sending off of Ahmed Mohammed towards the end of the first half.

In the second half coach Put made changes introducing Umaru Lutalo and Bobosi Byaruhanga in place of Oyirwoth and captain Khalid Aucho respectively.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession, Uganda failed to find more goals against the ten men of Somalia in the second half making Uganda finish the first window of the World Cup Qualifiers with only  three points from two games.
However, The Uganda Cranes will return to action in June next year with two home games against Botswana and Algeria.
In another match a 79th minute strike by Kabelo Seakanyeng sent Botswana, Zebras supporters into jubilation and shocked Guinea as the goal handed the Zebras their first victory of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers campaign.
The solitary goal by Seakanyeng helped the Zebras defeat Syli Nationale at the game played at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown on Tuesday afternoon. Zebras has never won against Guinea head to head, and the visitors, who pride themselves with having their entire squad plying their trade in Europe, found the going getting tough as Zebras head coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa seemed to have planned for them very well.
Yesterday, it was not good for other countries but Morocco made a winning start to their 2026 World Cup qualifying but several African heavyweights endured humbling results.
Hakim Ziyech scored a sublime 40-yard drive as the Atlas Lions defeated 10-man Tanzania 2-0 on to launch their bid to reach the 2026 World Cup.
However, the likes of Ghana, South Africa and Cameroon dropped points. Ghana and South Africa stumbled to damaging defeats against the Comoros and Rwanda respectively.
Ziyech lit up a dominant Moroccan display by firing home a dipping long-range strike on 28 minutes in Dar es Salaam. An own goal made it 2-0 after the break. Tanzania’s task was then made harder when Novatus Miroshi saw red for a second yellow midway through the second period.
The Atlas Lions ultimately cruised but Zambia suffered a shock 2-1 loss away to Niger in the same group as veteran coach Avram Grant tasted his first defeat in charge of Chipolopolo.
In a huge upset, Myziane Maolida’s strike condemned Ghana to a 1-0 loss away to the Comoros. It was a salty memory for the Black Stars after the tiny nation also beat them at AFCON 2021.
South Africa then crashed 2-0 to lowly Rwanda on a sodden pitch in Butare as the hosts scored twice inside 15 minutes. Quickfire first-half goals from Innocent Nshuti and Gilbert Mugisha earned the narrow victory as South Africa struggled to adapt.
Dango Ouattara and Bertrand Traore struck in Burkina Faso’s 3-0 victory away to Ethiopia. Tunisia also won 1-0 in Malawi thanks to Youssef Msakni’s late penalty.
There were also away draws for African giants Cameroon and Senegal against Libya and Togo respectively on a mixed night for the continent’s heavyweights.Senegal moved top of Group B despite the goalless stalemate away in Togo.
With only nine direct World Cup spots available, dropping early points could prove pivotal in a brutal qualifying marathon ahead.

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