No heroic end for Uganda

No heroic end for Uganda
Mali captain Diadie Samassekou on the attack during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Mali and Uganda

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 14, 2021. 21:03

Uganda’s hopes of a heroic end to their 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign were stymied by a 1-0 loss to Group E winners Mali at Stade Agadir in Morocco on Sunday evening.

The Eagles were already guaranteed top spot prior to the match, but put in a solid display against the Cranes to underline why they will enter next year’s playoffs with confidence that they can secure a first-ever World Cup qualification.

Mali ended top of the standings with 16 points from a possible 18, while Uganda were runners-up with nine. Kenya (three points) and Rwanda (one) will battle to avoid the wooden spoon when they meet on Monday.


After a quiet opening, it was Mali who claimed the lead on 18 minutes, with Nantes forward Kalifa Coulibaly placing a looping header beyond the reach of Uganda goalkeeper Ismail Watenga to put the hosts 1-0 up.

The Eagles had further chances, most notably for Moussia Doumbia after a slick passing move around the midway point of the first half, but this time Watenga was equal to the task.

Uganda struggled to put together any significant attacks with which to test Mali goalkeeper Ismael Diawara, leaving the score 1-0 in favour of the West Africans at the interval.

The Cranes were much improved after the restart, almost claiming an equaliser from Byaruhanga Bobosi’s free kick which flashed just wide on 59 minutes.

Yet Mali continued to carve out opportunities at the other end, with Watenga saving acrobatically from El Bilal Toure’s header.

Uganda thought they had levelled the game on 65 minutes when Allan Okello directed the ball beyond Diawara, but he was correctly flagged for offside.

That proved the last major incident of the match, with Mali able to see out to the end of the 90 minutes and secure a fifth win… all while not conceding a single goal in the process.

Mali (1) 1 (K. Coulibaly 18’)

Uganda 0

Mali: Diawara, K. Coulibaly, S. Coulibaly, Doumbia (A.M. Traore 67’), Kouame (Dieng 68’), Sacko, Samassekou (Fofana 90+1’), Sinayoko (A. Traore 67’), Sissako, E. Toure, C. Traore (H. Traore 73’)

Uganda: Watenga, Aucho, Bayo, Bobosi (Waiswa 69’), Iguma, Kizza (Mukwala 69’), Lwaliwa, Mugabi, Muleme, Okello (Karisa 82’), Orit

Sign in with:  
Sign in to comment
Important information regarding cookies
By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.