By Fred Kaweesi
March 24 World Cup qualifier
Liberia v Uganda
FUFA has designed a foul-proof strategy that will sufficiently prepare the Cranes for another remarkable result in Liberia.
Apart from the basics that will principally look to player fitness in the next seven days, the strategy involves holding a training camp in Ghana’s capital Accra.
“The team leaves on Thursday. In a technical meeting attended by the FA President Mr. Lawrence Mulindwa at the federation headquarters in Mengo, it has also been resolved that the team camps in Accra City, Ghana for three days before connecting to Monrovia,” read a press statement from the federation on Friday.
The decision is similar to that adopted ahead of the 2012 Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea Bissau when Cranes held camp in Dakar, Senegal three days to their fixture against Bissau.
It did not only guarantee that all the team’s foreign-based players travelled for fewer hours for this particular fixture but also ensured that they were both mentally and physically fit.
The reward was that 1-0 victory. Uganda has two points from draws against Angola and Senegal and could seal progress to the final bend of the qualifiers if they can win all four of their last qualifiers against Liberia, Angola and Senegal.
Liberia will be a difficult place to visit.
But the West Africans are in turmoil. They fired their head coach Kaetu Smith and his assistants after poor results during their seven-month stay in the job and are yet to appoint a new manager for the qualifier against Uganda.
Smith and his team were appointed in May last year but failed to win any of their five competitive matches. Liberian legend George Weah has since been tasked to identify a new and competent coach that will steer the Lone Stars to glory over Uganda.
This presents Cranes with a realistic chance of masterminding results over two legs against the Liberians. Whatever the circumstances, the Cranes will then be challenged to upstage Angola, which they can, considering the team’s home record and statistics against the Palancas Negros in recent years.
Uganda’s real test will then come against Senegal at a neutral venue in Guinea, where whoever wins will ultimately qualify for the final stage.
The Cranes, who start training at Namboole Stadium today, suffered a 2-0 defeat in Monrovia the last time Uganda played Liberia in 2002.