Uganda Cranes faced a disheartening defeat against Guinea in a tense encounter between the two nations on Friday. The match, part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, unfolded at Stade Du Municipal in Berkane, Morocco, where the hosts clinched a 2-1 victory.

Despite a commendable performance by Uganda Cranes, they were left devastated as Guinea scored the decisive goal in the closing moments of the game. This defeat marked the debut for the newly appointed coach, Paul Joseph, who recently signed a two-year deal.

The starting lineup for Uganda Cranes included Salim Omar Magoola as the goalkeeper, supported by a defensive line consisting of Kenneth Semakula, Abdul Aziizi Kayondo, Bevis Mugabi, and Halidi Lwaliwa.

The midfield featured skipper Khalid Aucho, Bobosi Byaruhanga, and Travis Mutyaba, while the front three comprised Fahad Bayo, Milton Karisa, and Rogers Kassim Mato.

Guinea took an early lead with Aguibou Camara’s goal in the 10th minute. However, Uganda Cranes, showing resilience, managed to equalize at the half-hour mark when Fahad Bayo scored from close range. A well-delivered free kick by Byaruhanga was met by Lwaliwa’s header, setting up Bayo for a precise finish.

In the second half, Uganda made strategic changes, bringing in Yunus Sentamu and Timothy Awany for Milton Karisa and Byaruhanga, respectively. Subsequent substitutions included Richard Basangwa and Bright Anukani, replacing Bayo and Mutyaba.

Despite Uganda’s efforts, Guinea secured the win with a last-minute free-kick goal by Seydouba Cisse. The Cranes will regroup and return to action on Tuesday in a crucial match against Somalia as part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

Uganda Cranes find themselves in Group G, competing alongside Algeria, Somalia, Guinea, Botswana, and Mozambique.

Uganda’s Starting XI: Salim Omar Magoola, Kenneth Semakula, Aziizi Kayondo, Bevis Mugabi, Halidi Lwaliwa, Khalid Aucho, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Travis Mutyaba, Fahad Bayo, Milton Karisa, Rogers Mato.

Substitutes: Isima Watenga, Jack Komakech, Timothy Awany, Elvis Bwomono, Rogers Torach, Ibrahim Juma, Ramz Kawooya, William Kizito Luwagga, Yunus Sentamu, Denis Omedi, Bright Anukani, Richard Basangwa.


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