The Uganda national women’s football team, the Crested Cranes, suffered in the first game on their return to Africa’s biggest football showpiece, the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) happing in Morocco. The Crested Cranes suffered a 2-0 loss to Senegal courtesy of goals from Ndeye Awa Diakhate and Nguenar Ndiaye.
Diakhaté Ndeye opened the scoring for the Senegalese team with a penalty in the 39th minute after Tunisian referee Dorsaf Ganouati had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after a foul on Senegal’s 16-year-old striker Hapsatou Diallo.
Uganda could have equalized a few minutes later through their dangerous Kazakhstan-based striker, Fauzia Najjemba, but Lionesses goalkeeper Tenning Sene brilliantly denied Najjemba and the Cranes.
Pre-match favourites Uganda laid siege to the Senegal goal, with Najjemba hitting the post in the 32nd minute, but somehow Senegal retained their 1-0 lead at half-time.
Senegal doubled their lead through Nguenar Ndiaye five minutes after the break, who finished clinically after being put through by the young rising star of Senegalese football, Hapsatou Diallo.
The goal was a huge blow to the Crested Cranes, who desperately tried to get back in the game to no avail.
Lionesses goalkeeper, Tenning Sene, may have been a peripheral figure for Senegal in the build up to the tournament, but she grabbed her chance brilliantly to be named “Woman of the Match” after a scintillating performance in goal for Senegal.
The 2-0 win for Senegal gives them top spot in Group A, as they leapfrog Morocco, who they join on three points.
The Crested Cranes are already guaranteed $100,000 (Shs360m) by just appearing at the Women Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) that started on Saturday in Morocco.
The Uganda women’s national team played Senegal in their tournament opener in Rabat yesterday.