2022 Navruz Cup final.
*Tuesday, 29th March
Full Time: Uzbekistan 4-2 Uganda
Uganda Cranes on Tuesday lost 4-2 against hosts Uzbekistan in the 2022 Navruz cup final at the Navbahor Stadium in Namangan.
AS Roma striker Eldor Shomurodov bagged a hat trick that gunned down the Cranes despite a spirited fight.
Albeit the final not going their way, Uganda Cranes Coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic says that he learnt something from the outing.
“It is a tournament that has really given us a clear picture ahead of the 2023 AFCON Qualifiers and we now know who is ready to compete and not,” Micho told FUFA website.
Meanwhile, Jaloliddin Masharipov gave Uzbekistan the lead when he scored in an empty net after Herbert Achai miscommunicated with goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi in the 34th minute to send the passionate crown wild.
Four minutes later, Masharipov turned provider when he exchanged with Shomurodov who brilliantly put the ball far beyond Alionzi’s gloves to make it 2-0.
Farouk Miya had a chance to reduce the deficit with a free kick at the stroke of halftime but his effort was well saved by the keeper.
Moments into the second half, Micho introduced Milton Karisa for Fahad Bayo.
Miya scored Uganda’s first goal from a well delivered cross by Karisa in the 52nd minute.
Three minutes later, Shomurodov restored Uzbekistan’s two goal cushion with an easy finish from a well orchestrated counter attack.
The skipper nearly made it three in the similar fashion but his effort kissed the lower post five minutes later.
Micho brought on Bobosi Byaruhanga for Moses Waiswa, Allan Okello for Steven Sserwadda and Aziz Kayondo for Achai.
Derrick Kakooza was also introduced for Marvin Youngman in the 69th minute.
Uganda kept pressing for another goal but it was Uzbekistan who scored next.
Shomurodov got enough space to fire home his third goal and Uzbekistan’s fourth of the day in the 72nd minute.
Emmanuel Okwi scored Uganda’s second goal with a sweet shot from outside the box in the 78th minute but was not enough for the Cranes to avoid defeat.
Uganda finished second while Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan came third and fourth respectively.
Uganda Cranes Starting XI
Alionzi Nafian, Allan Kyambadde, Herbert Achai, Livingstone Mulondo, Halid Lwaliwa, Marvin Youngman, Moses Waiswa, Steven Sserwadda, Fahad Bayo, Farouk Miya, Emma Okwi
Substitutions: Aziz Kayondo, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Rogers Mato, Milton Karisa, Allan Okello, Derrick Kakooza, Benjamin Ochan, James Begisa, Hassan Jurua, Martin Kizza.