South Sudan, the world’s newest footballing nation, lost their first competitive game 1-0 to Ethiopia in the opening match of the East and Central African Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda on Saturday.
Yonathan Kebede’s second-half goal condemned the nation who are 200th in the FIFA world rakings to defeat at the start of the regional competition in Kampala.
South Sudan, who achieved independence 16 months ago, had only played one match before - a 2-2 draw with Uganda in a July friendly - and arrived at their first tournament short of preparation, according to their Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic.
However, they delivered a solid performance until a defensive error allowed Kebede to score after an hour.
Hosts Uganda beat Kenya 1-0 in the second Group A game on Saturday.