It took a 91st minute effort from second-half substitute Rogers Mato to separate Tanzania and Uganda at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on Tuesday night, as the Cranes walked away with a 1-0 win against the Taifa Stars in an AFCON qualifier.
As the two nations began the feeling out process, Tanzania were comfortable in surrendering the ball during the early stages of the game.
Uganda often went long in an attempt to stretch the opposition defence, while the home team looked to cause damage in transitional moments.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Uganda continued to have more of the ball at their feet but struggled to make inroads toward the Tanzania defence.
After 20 minutes played, Tanzania grew in confidence and edged Uganda in the ball possession count. However, Uganda sat tight and looked solid at the back.
With an issue to the floodlights at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, the game was brought to a halt 10 minutes before half time, with both teams taking the opportunity enjoy a cooling break. After some 30 minutes, the game resumed, much to the delight of the supporters in the stadium.
As the two nations created little to no chances after the restart, the referee called time on the first 45 with the scores tied at 0-0.
MATO SCORES LATE WINNER
Tanzania got the second half off to a positive start and moved the ball around with purpose, but in rolling the ball forward the Taifa stars offered minimal danger to the opposition defence.
With an hour of football played in Dar er Salaam, Uganda looked threatening going forward but failed to make the most of their attacking moments. In what has been the tale of the fixture, Tanzania and Uganda played most of the football in the middle of the park with the respective goalkeepers being untroubled throughout the 90 minutes.
In one last roll of the dice, Uganda took the lead in the 91st minute as substitute Rogers Mato got his name on the scoresheet.
In finding space in the Tanzania backline, Farouk Miya found Mato with a well-weighted through ball as the attacker calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Tanzania: (0) 0
Uganda: (0) 1 (Mato 91’)
Tanzania: Manula, Dismas, Hamad, Mohamed (Luhende 72’), Job, Yassin (Abdalla 72’), Mkami (Kapombe 77’), Yahya, Msuva, Samatta (Sahid 88’), Suleiman
Uganda: Salim, Kayondo, Awany, Basangwa (Bayo 62’), Semakula, Ochaya, Aucho, Byaruhanga (Mukwala 89’), Okwi (Kassim 62’), Lwaliwa, Mugulusi (Miya 90’)