Uganda miss the chance to go to Beach Soccer World Cup after a spirited loss to Mozambique in the semi-finals

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By Ali Mutanje

Uganda took part in the AFCON Beach Soccer tournament for the first time. Their opponents in the semi-finals, Mozambique, are also debutants. 

Uganda lost 6-3 to Mozambique thanks to Rachide Sefo who scored 5 goals that concluded the Sand Cranes journey at the tournament. 

Both teams were evenly balanced in the first two periods. Baker Lukooya equalised for Uganda after Rachide had put Mozambique in front. 

The impressive Rachide scored for the second time. Alex Wasswa answered with an equalizer again for the Sand Cranes to show their resilience. 

Against the run of play, Paul Lule scored for Uganda to take a 3-2 lead and upset the odds. But it was the last time Uganda Sand Cranes had the upper hand.

Nelson Manuel, Mozambique’s provincial defender made two decisive passes for Rachide to score two more goals.

The defender completed a sublime performance with a fifth goal of the night to humiliate Uganda in the semi-finals. 

Mozambique now makes it to the finals and also automatically qualifies for the Beach Soccer World Cup. 

Uganda will see this as a missed opportunity to make history with qualification to the World Cup of Beach Soccer. 

There are positives to take with their performances and the way they manoeuvred through the group to reach here.

Punted against record Champions, Senegal. It was always going to be a hard task to win the group. However, the Sand Cranes “honourably” lost 5-1 to the formidable West African side. 

They went on and beat Tanzania 3-4  in the second match of the tournament to boost their chances of progressing to the semi-finals. 

Uganda automatically qualified to the semi-finals when Tanzania lost to Senegal to finish third in a group of three. The loss to Mozambique spells the end of a journey to the Cranes. However, they come back home with experience and holding their heads high for representing the nation with pride and diligence.

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