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U17 World Cup: Nadunga returns to boost Uganda ahead of Tanzania clash

Olila High School’s versatile player makes the travelling squad to Dar es Salaam for the first leg showdown set for Sunday

The Uganda U17 women’s team have received a major boost after versatile player Bira Nadunga returned to camp ahead of Friday’s trip to Dar es Salaam for a Fifa Women U17 World Cup qualifier against Tanzania.

The rivals will face off in the first leg of the first round in Dar-es-Salaam on Sunday having respectively eliminated Ethiopia and Burundi in last month’s preliminary qualification round of the World Cup, which is slated for November in India.

Nadunga plays as a forward for her club but has established a formidable centre-back partnership with Kawempe Muslim SS’s Stella Musibika – also a striker in her formative years.

The two, who partnered when Uganda won the Cecafa U17 Women Cup in Njeru last December, could come in handy as they have some experience in handling the Tanzania forwards they largely kept at bay in a 1-1 draw.

With the games coming thick and fast, U17 coach Ayub Khalifan will do without Musibika, who is out with a foot injury.

Fortunately for him, Nadunga, who had reportedly stayed away from camp to concentrate on her studies, alongside her teammate Gillian Akadinda, is back after some pushing from Fufa.

Akadinda returned too but with an injury.

“We will definitely get Bira back in but we are still working around the clock on the other options,” Khalifan is quoted by Daily Monitor.

From the look of things, Gloria Namugerwa might partner Bira ahead of Patricia Akiror but Khalifan is also considering switching Grace Aluka from left-back to the centre.

Meanwhile, winger Catherine Nagadya has already been nailed down as midfield anchor as Khalifan continues to stress the need for versatility among youth players.

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