The National Beach Soccer team, Sand Cranes have today been eliminated from the on-going 2022 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Sand Cranes needed a draw or win in their last Group match to qualify for the semi final stage, but lost 6-2 to Egypt in a match played at the Vilanculos Arena in Mozambique.
This was the second loss for the Sand Cranes in the on-going tournament and they will bow out with only three points in the three games played. Previously they lost to Senegal and pulled off a win against Madagascar.
In action, Egypt, widely known as the Pharaohs, took the lead in the first minutes of the first period when Moustafa Shaaban headed the ball into the empty net of the Sand Cranes when he caught Uganda’s custodian off guard. Following that, the two teams played a balanced game in which neither team scored.
However, towards the end of the first period, Team Captain Baker Lukooya pulled off an equalized through a penalty to bring back Uganda into the game.
Egypt appeared to be the better team in the second period, adding another goal to their tally through Hosam Paulo while stopping all Uganda’s efforts. Joshua Lubwama had a chance to tie the game late in the second half, but his shot sailed wide.
As the game progressed, Egypt’s Hassane Husseinreceived the ball unmarked on the left flank and shot past Uganda’s goalkeeper to command a 3-1 second-period lead.
In the third period, Egypt netted three more goals. Although striker Brian Nkuubi also pulled one for Uganda, it was not enough to stop Egypt.
Sand Cranes show in this year’s edition of the championship falls short of Uganda’s performance in the previous edition of the competition, in which they advanced to the semi-finals but were defeated by Mozambique.
Going to the Beach soccer Afcon, currently ranked fifth in Africa and 36th globally by Beach Soccer Worldwide. They will now play a classification match with Group A’s third-placed team Malawi on Wednesday.
After the game, Sand Cranes Head Coach Angelo Schirinzi despite putting in a lot of effort to prepare for this match said his side lost to a more experienced Egypt team.
Uganda at 2022 Beach Soccer Afcon
Senegal 10-1 Uganda
Uganda 6-3 Madagascar
Uganda 2-6 Egypt