Uganda defeat Malawi 2-0 to secure 3 points. (19 Nov 2019).
Just 4 days after securing a draw against Burkina Faso in the opening qualification game for AFCON 2021, Uganda faced Malawi in front of a home crowd in Kampala. Malawi had arrived in Kampala buoyed by their own win over South Sudan a few days earlier.
In the first half both teams took time to adjust to the uneven pitch conditions, which were challenging in some areas of the field.
Malawi sought to settle into their usual passing game, seeking to move the ball. However Uganda's tight organisation limited Malawi's possession to defensive midfield and prevented any real penetration. As a result, Denis Onyango in the Uganda goal was largely left untested, with the exception of clearing some crosses and the occasional long range through ball that Malawi failed to connect with.
For Uganda, striker Fahad Bayo (current top goal scorer in the Uganda Premier League) was given his national team debut and quickly developed a rhythm with his teammates which allowed him to created a few opportunities on goal
The first goal of the game came however through Emmanuel Okwi. A diagonal ball played by Joseph Ochaya was well controlled by Okwi with a first touch allowing him to shoot diagonally across the penalty area giving Uganda a 1-0 lead.
The game could have gone 2-0 just before half time - Farouk Miya receiving a pass just outside the box, elegantly moved past defenders and placed his shot past the Malawi keeper only to see it rebound off the inside of the post.
HT: Uganda 1-0.
In the second half Uganda appeared with more intensity, working to impose themselves more on the game - pushing forward, working to simplify the play and use speed, physicality and a forward focus to put Malawi under pressure.
As a result, the majority of the chances after the break fell to Uganda. Fahad Bayo settled further into the game and eventually was rewarded for his persistence as he and another debutante Allan Okello combined to apply pressure to the Malawi defence. This pressure allowed Bayo to steal the ball and press forward before placing the ball into the top right hand corner to give Uganda a 2-0 victory.
FT: Uganda 2-0
Speaking after the game, Coach McKinstry said:
"We settled into the game reasonably well, and our organisation was fine, but in the first half I felt we could have done more to disrupt Malawi’s passing play before it got going. I felt we could achieve more by being more aggressive"
"For the second half I wanted us to apply more pressure, interrupt Malawi’s passing rhythm and not allow them to have quite so much time on the ball."
"I think that worked and we prevented Malawi from getting a foothold in the second half. Overall, two very pleasing goals as a result of pressing, forward passes, good positional play and moving to capitalise when we won the ball - so a very good result."
"Given that we only had a couple of days prep for this game, and only one day before the Burkina Faso game earlier in the week, I felt that the players took on board the key aspects that we were looking for."
"There is plenty more work to do, but in such a short period of time I am pleased that the players seem hungry to learn, and to evolve their playing style. We feel that the squad absorbed some important information this week and as a result we secured tow very good results – the away draw with Burkina Faso and the win against Malawi."
"To take 4 points from our opening games is very positive and puts us in a good position to work towards qualification for the finals in Cameroon in 2021."
Next AFCON Q 2021 Qualification Games:
South Sudan (H), South Sudan (A). 23-31 March 2020.
Notes to Editors
- In winning CECAFA 2019, Uganda won all six of their games, scoring fourteen goals and conceding just two.
- To reach final Uganda overcame Burundi (2-1); Somalia (2-0); Eritrea (2-0); Djibouti (4-1); Tanzania (1-0); Eritrea (Final 3-0).
- Since being appointed on 01 Oct 2019, Coach McKinstry has now secured 9 wins and one draw from 10 games.
- In addition to the above results, these also include: Malawi, 2-0 (AFCON qualifier- Nov 19); Burkina Faso, 1-1 (AFCON qualifier- Nov 19); Burundi, 3-0 (CHAN qualifier – Oct 19), Ethiopia, 1-0 (International Friendly – Oct 19)