Ikwaput hat-trick powers Kampala Queens to winning start

A superb hat-trick from striker Fazila Ikwaput inspired Uganda's Kampala Queens to a 3-0 win over Yei Joint Stars in their opening match of the CAF Women's Champions League CECAFA qualifiers on Saturday.

The reigning Uganda Women's Premier League champions wasted no time asserting their authority as Ikwaput netted the opener after just 13 minutes at the FUFA Technical Centre.

The South Sudan outfit tried to fight back but failed to penetrate the Kampala defence, with Ikwaput adding her second just before half-time after beating goalkeeper Nawal Isaac Henry Majok.

Ikwaput, who joined from Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia in the off-season, completed her treble in the 68th minute to cap a dazzling individual display.

"I'm happy to score three goals and will keep working hard with my teammates," said a delighted Ikwaput after starring in the 3-0 victory.

Kampala coach Charles Ssenyange knows the qualifiers will be highly competitive but was pleased with his side's winning start.

In the other Group A match, Ethiopia's Commercial Bank FC came from behind to beat Burundi's Buja Queens 2-1.

Topister Situma put Buja ahead before Commercial Bank, spearheaded by skipper Loza Abera, scored twice after the break through Argash Tadesse and Abera herself.

The result leaves Kampala top of the group after the opening round of matches with matches to come on Sunday in Group B.

Action continues on Sunday with two Group B matches as Vihiga Queens (Kenya) battle New Generations FC (Zanzibar), and JKT Queens (Tanzania) take on AS Kigali Women (Rwanda).

The week-long tournament features nine teams battling for a place in the CAF Women's Champions League set for later this year.