By Thomas Odongo
Uganda Under 17 national women's football team edged South Africa 1-2 to claim the inaugural COSAFA U17 Girls' Football Championship during the final played at St. Francois Xavier Stadium in Mauritius.
Uganda's goals were scored by Fauzia Najjemba and skipper Juliet Nalukenge. Tiffany Kortje found the back of the net for South Africa.
It was a barren stalemate by break time as both sides fielded precisely in defense and midfield.
However, Uganda's Najjemba opened the scoring in the 57th minute after capitalizing on South Africa's unwary backline then.
South Africa was not ready to let it slip in the grand finale and in the 76th minute, they leveled matters thanks to Tiffany Kortje's efforts.
It seemed like the two sides were heading into extra time but Uganda's skipper Juliet Nalukenge struck in the 87th minute to help the girls from the Pearl of Africa regain the lead.
It read 1-2 in Uganda's favor at the end of it all. Uganda becomes the first Nation to claim the title.
Uganda had a smooth ride in the tournament and condemned their rivals to heavy beatings most of which were in double figures.
Nalukenge emerged tourney's top scorer with 18 goals from 5 games.
Uganda's number one Daphine Nyayenge was named best goalkeeper. She conceded only twice from 5 appearances.
Uganda finished the tournament with four wins and one draw. They scored a record 46 goals.