Uganda suffered a shock 2-0 away loss to South Sudan to bow out of the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers in the first round 2-1 on aggregate.
Despites struggling to break down the opposition in the first leg before a late Mustafa Kizza penalty separated the two sides at Lugogo, many thought Uganda still had enough to reach the second round.
Coaches Wasswa Bossa and Charles Ayiekoh named unchanged lineup from the first leg team.
It included seven players from the team that defeated South Sudan 3-0 in Juba and 8-1 on aggregate in the Under-20 Africa qualifiers in April.
Saidi Keni, Mujuzi Musitafa, Geofrey Wasswa, Bashir Asiku, Julius Poloto, Allan Okello and Steven Mukwala all started for the Kobs team regarded as the future of the national senior team.
But South Sudan had different ideas scoring first through Michael Taku Peter for a seventh minute lead before Makueth Wol who plies his trade with Uganda Premier League side Mbarara scored late to hand his country an unlikely victory.
The result proved remarkable for South Sudan who only gained independence from the Republic of Sudan in 2011 and whose senior team cannot make it to Afcon 2019 after failing to record a point after five games.
They now progresses to the penultimate round of the qualifiers where Tunisia awaits.
Tunisia has topped Africa at position 22 in the latest FIFA rankings released by the world football governing body on Thursday.
The Tunisians, who have already qualified for next year’s AFCON in Cameroon, are followed by Senegal at 25, which has also qualified for the tournament.
Kenya rose two places to position 105 from the previous 107.
The Democratic Republic of Congo are out of the top 40 after losing 2-1 and drawing 1-1 against Zimbabwe in mid-October.
Morocco, Cameroon and Ghana are all down two places, at 47, 51 and 52, respectively.
From 56 last month , Burkina Faso now occupies position 57, while Egypt has moved up six places to 58. Ivory Coast completes the top 10 countries in Africa at position 64. They have jumped up two places.
Globally, Belgium is still on top while World champions France drop to 2nd place.
Brazil and Croatia maintained their 3rd and 4th position respectively. England has moved up one place to 5th and pushed Uruguay to 6th.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is expected to put his controversial plans for two new international soccer tournaments to a vote at Friday’s meeting of the body’s ruling council.
A spokesman for the governing body revealed this to Reuters on Wednesday.
However, with the World Leagues Forum, which represents 38 professional leagues, asking Infantino last week not to go for a vote and strong opposition within Europe, Friday’s FIFA council meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, could cause a major split.
Infantino revealed his plans in May for a new Global Nations League and a revamped Club World Cup which he says are backed by a ‘solid and serious’ group of investors willing to spend $25 billion over a 12-year cycle starting in 2021.
The European Leagues, which includes the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, and European football’s governing body UEFA are among several organisations unwilling to endorse the plans at this stage.
The new competitions and related commercial strategy feature on the agenda for the meeting and the FIFA spokesman told Reuters that there will be votes held on the proposals.
Cape Town – Jose Mourinho said that Romelu Lukaku is struggling for form and confidence after seeing his Manchester United side lose 1-0 to Juventus.
The Premier League club were second best for much of the Champions League tie where a Paulo Dybala goal settled the tie.
Lukaku has now not scored for eight games, but he had a tough task to get the better of Juve defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Even Mourinho had praise for the Italian defenders while admitting that Lukaku needs to raise his game.
After the game, the United boss told the press: “No criticism at all, a complete understanding the player is a fantastic pro that wants to give everything.
“But I have to agree his moment is not sweet, not just with the goals he is not scoring but in his confidence, movement, touch, he is not linking the game well with the team – but he’s our striker and he’s a good striker and a striker we believe in.
“Could I play (Marcus) Rashford there? But then I don’t have a winger because in this moment we are in this difficult situation.
“He (Lukaku) is a hard-working guy, is a good professional, but one day the goal will arrive and the confidence will be back.”
Lukaku last scored for United in a 2-1 win over Watford but netted a brace for Belgium in a 2-1 win over Switzerland two weeks ago.
Kenya has risen two places in the latest Fifa rankings released by the world football body on Thursday.
Harambee Stars are now in position 105, up from 107 following their 0-0 result in Bahir Dar and 3-0 win in Nairobi against neighbours Ethiopia in back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group “F” qualifying matches held on October 10 and October 14 respectively.
Sebastien Migne’s charges had the biggest leap during the September rankings in terms of points, when they stunned Ghana 1-0 in Nairobi in their second qualifying match to improve from 112 to 107 after clinching 22 points (17.9 from beating Ghana and 4.1 from defeating Malawi in an international friendly match also in Nairobi).
The latest round of results against Ethiopia have seen Harambee Stars add their points tally from 1204 to 1210. They are tied on 105th with Libya, who have dropped six places. Stars have also benefited from Niger’s slip-up. Niger suffered 1-0 and 2-1 defeats in the hands of Tunisia.
Frenchman Migne has led Stars in 10 games; 6 wins, 3 losses and one draw since taking charge on May 3, 2018.
He started his three-year reign with a 1-0 loss against Swaziland in an international friendly on May 25 and then guided Stars to thump Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in another friendly tie on May 28.
Both matches were held at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Stars then hit Ghana and Malawi 1-0 each before the back-to-back matches against Ethiopia. His next assignment is against Sierra Leone (down one spot to 115) in an Afcon qualifying match on November 18 in Nairobi.
The West Africans are currently serving an indefinite ban from Fifa, so the fixture remains uncertain.
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said on October 23 that in the event that the ban is not lifted, Migne and his boys could play an international friendly on November 20 against a side yet to be disclosed.
In the Eastern Africa zone famously known as Cecafa, Uganda still tops the Fifa chart at position 79 thanks to 3-0 and 2-0 wins against Lesotho in AFCON qualifiers. Like Kenya, Uganda also lead the race to reach Cameroon in 2019 in Group “L”. The Ugandans have improved four places in the global rankings.
Tanzania, which is in the same group with Uganda and currently placed second in that group, has jumped four places to 136th after shocking number 67 ranked Cape Verde.
Cape Verde are now in position 68 after succumbing to a 2-0 loss in Dar es Salaam on October 16. Sudan have dropped from 132 to 135.
They remain third in Cecafa, followed by Rwanda, who are on the verge on exiting the race to be in Afcon after losing 2-0 in Guinea and then drawing 1-1 in Kigali in Group “H”.
After forcing 0-0 and 1-1 draws against highly-rated Mali, Burundi have bettered their position from 148th to 142, and are just behind Rwanda in the region.
Ethiopia drop one place to 150 in the world, but stay sixth in Cecafa. South Sudan occupy seventh spot in Cecafa and 159 in the world after tumbling two places.
Other members of Cecafa are Djibouti (down one place to 197) and Eritrea and Somalia (both two places up to 204).
Tunisia continue to lead the table in Africa at position 22 in the world. The Tunisians, who have improved their place by one spot and are already through to next year’s Afcon in Cameroon, are followed by Senegal, who are also through.
Senegal remain 25th globally. The Democratic Republic of Congo are out of the top 40 after losing 2-1 and drawing 1-1 against Zimbabwe in mid-October.
The Congolese are down six places to 46th in the world. Morocco, Cameroon and Ghana are all down two places, one spot and a place to positions 47, 51 and 52, respectively.
Burkina Faso occupies position 57 from 56 last month, while Egypt has moved up six places to 58th. Ivory Coast complete the top 10 countries in Africa at position 64. The Elephants have jumped up two places.
There are three changes in the top 10 teams in the world, with Belgium still on top. World champions France have dropped to second place, having jointly held top spot with Belgium last month.
Brazil and Croatia stay third and fourth respectively. England has moved up one place to fifth and pushed Uruguay to sixth.
Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Colombia close the best 10 countries in the world in that order.
The biggest gainers were Gibraltar, who are up eight places to 190th, while the biggest losers are Mozambique from 113 to 122.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been named the United Nations Personality of the Year in Kenya.
Kipchoge, who set a new World marathon record when he retained his Berlin Marathon title in 2 hours, 01 minutes and 39 seconds, was named on Wednesday for exhibiting extraordinary accomplishment that involves initiative, integrity and courage.
Not only did Kipchoge exhibit these qualities when breaking the World record but also for his work on combating HIV/AIDS.
Kipchoge, who is the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon champion, was feted during the United Nations’ 73rd Anniversary celebrations at UN’s offices in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The 33-year-old is among three Kenyan athletes nominated for the 2018 Male World Athlete of the Year.
Kipchoge has been nominated alongside 2018 Diamond League winners Timothy Cheruiyot (1,500m) and Emmanuel Korir (800m).