Port Gentil - Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic believes his troops failed to live up to expectations due to stage fright in the early stages of their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) encounter against Ghana.
The Cranes suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Black Stars in their opening Group D clash at the Stade de Port-Gentil, thanks to an Andre Ayew penalty.
Sredojevic also admitted that Ghanaian forward Asamoah Gyan's experience up front proved pivotal against the East Africans due to his off the ball movements which also led to the Ugandans conceding the soft penalty.
"First half I believe that we had an element of a stage fright," Sredojevic told reporters in a post-match press conference.
"We have paid an expensive scholarship of one mistake which is very hard to explain.
"The experience of a great player like Asamoah Gyan stood against us when he won a penalty converted by Ayew.
"Second half we were fully aware of the stage we were playing at. All players were awake, but the Ghana team experience absorbed the pressure very well to keep us at bay."
The 47-year-old praised the Cranes' second half fighting spirit, but bemoaned their failure to snatch an equaliser.
"However, I must say that I’m very proud of the boys," Sredojevic said.
"Every player put in a great effort, but football is all about putting the ball into the back of the net."
Uganda will switch focus to their next encounter against Egypt at the Stade de Port-Gentil on Saturday while the Black Stars will square off against Mali.