Mato over the moon after opening Uganda Cranes account

Rogers mato celebrates his goal for Uganda (courtesy)

AFCON 2023 Mato over the moon after opening Uganda Cranes account

Fred Mwambu 02:34 - 29.03.2023

KCCA forward Rogers Mato scored his first goal for the Uganda cranes.

Rogers Kassim Mato’s name will be remembered for some ages to come after scoring the all-important goal against Tanzania that got Uganda Cranes back into contention for a slot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The KCCA forward came for captain Emmanuel Okwi in the 63rd minute to score at the death to resuscitate Uganda’s hopes of returning to the continental premier showpiece after four years.

Mato ran through to find a well-laid Farouk Miya’s defense-splitting pass before beating Aishi Manula in Tanzania’s goal. Miya had spent only four minutes on the pitch.

“I’m ecstatic,” the youngster was over the moon after the win. The win took Uganda to third in Group F with four points, same as Tanzania as Niger dropped down to fourth with only two points.

“I can’t even explain the feeling inside me. I thank all those who supported us to do this. I once dreamt of scoring for Uganda Cranes on such a big stage and I’m happy God has done it for me.

Mato also revealed that he had his initial hopes of Isma Mugulusi scoring the goal for Uganda but luck threw it his way.

“I was pushing and praying for my teammate Isma Mugulusi but eventually God heard the prayers and passed the [goal] through me,” he added.

Mugulusi was among the four changes that coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic made to the team that started in the 1-0 loss in Ismailia. The others were Bobosi Byaruhanga, Timothy Awany and Richard Basangwa.