A late penalty converted by Mustafa Kizza was enough to give Uganda Kobs a slim 1-0 win over South Sudan in a 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier on Wednesday.
The visiting South Sudan side who traveled over 600km by bus from Juba defended in numbers early in the half to give Kobs no chance at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.
Attacking midfielder Allan Okello and Julius Poloto kept the South Sudan team busy, but the visitors defended in numbers to give the home side no chance in the early half.
On return Uganda Kobs piled lots of pressure with Okello trying to shot from outside the box, but the defenders were up to the task. The South Sudan team also had Makueth Wol Akeen Nhuet test the Ugandan goalkeeper twice.
But with one added minute striker Stephen Dese Mukwala run in the box before Pal Paul Pukin brought him down. The Egyptian referee cautioned Pukin and awarded a penalty which Kizza converted.
"We should have scored many goals but my players failed to unlock the South Sudan defending line. We need to work harder in the return leg on November 20th," Uganda Kobs coach Wasswa Bbosa said after the game.
The winner between the Uganda Kobs and South Sudan will take on Tunisia in the second round of qualification in March next year before the final qualification round in June.
Egypt will host the 2019 U-23 AFCON which will be the 3rd edition. The tournament will determine which three African teams will compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics men's football tournament in Japan.