Namboole fortress gates breached by Algeria

Sports -->
Namboole fortress gates breached by Algeria
Caption not available

Uganda's unrealistic hope of cracking the World Cup codes remain a big fix for even Paul Put after two seconds half goals largely helped by inexplicable defensive shambles gifted Algeria a prized victory at Namboole Stadium.

Three days ago, the Cranes contained a composed Botswana with equally composed gamesmanship en route to a 1-0 victory in their first game in the talismanic stadium.

Algeria was always going to be a tall order but they did not look like it as diminutive playmaker Travis Mutyaba drilled home a low shot on 10 minutes to send the fans under the floodlights in ruptures.

Playing with purpose and limiting the Desert Foxes to half chances, Uganda found itself dancing at the top of Group G in the live standings with nine points from four games as they took the 1-0 lead into the dressing room.

But all the effort Put and his backroom staff put in this went to the grass as defender Halid Lwaliwa somehow got his mouth on the exciting green turf rather than keep his studs firmly in there.

Algeria grabbed the inviting slip and fall of Lwaliwa with their all as Ismael Watenga stood transfixed once Houssem Aouar had fired a rebound.

The goal, just on restart, rocked the Cranes and when another defensive lapse just before the hour mark gifted former West Ham forward Said Behrama, the gloom was written all over as the cameras relayed First Lady Janet Museveni in the VIP booth carrying the mood of the entire nation on her face.

The Cranes attempted to fight back but the Algerians had every luck playing out for them - including what looked like a stonewall penalty being waved away.

Lwaliwa was saved from his misery with on the hour mark, replaced with Timothy Awany.

The 2-1 defeat dropped the Cranes to the layers of the group's basement where Somalia appears to have sued for a patent.

With six points, Uganda still looks to be very much in it but they made their work doubly harder with Algeria now gaining the confidence to take charge of the group's 2026 World Cup marathon.

With the next round of the qualifiers nearly a year away in March 2025, Paul will have to Put in a lot of work to get his charges to correct the fatal errors on Monday night - starting away in Mozambique.

Favourites Algeria lead the group with nine points after four rounds of matches while Guinea, who could join the Desert Foxes at the top with a win over Mozambique, were still goalless by half time.

Reader's Comments