By Fred Kaweesi
Today, 6pm, SS4
Uganda v Zimbabwe
Yunus Sentamu has been the subject of all kinds of superlatives since his match-winning performance against Burkina Faso three days ago.
The 19-year-old has been labelled genius, incredible, extraordinary by whoever bothered to watch his twogoal display against the West Africans.
But as Cranes confront Zimbabwe at the Athlone Stadium Thursday, it will be extremely important that Cranes’ more experienced guards such as Brian Majwega come to the fore.
True, Sentamu’s qualities are undisputed but it will be too demanding to solely rely on the Senior Six vacationist for the second consecutive game.
He had a great game against Burkina Faso but will need to be supported against this Zimbabwean side that will definately have a game plan to frustrate him.
“Sentamu has a good understanding of the game, knows when to be in the right position at the right time and has good composure,” Cranes head coach Micho Sredojevic told New Vision this week
“But he is still young. We have other good players in the team and I have asked them to refocus on the game against Zimbabwe because it will be difficult,” Micho added.
A win will automatically earn Uganda a place in the quarter-fi nal. A draw will not be bad either. “We will try to win the game,” Micho pointed.
Majwega step forward
Although all eyes will switch to Sentamu, Majwega is the other player that could win the game for Cranes.
He has matured so much as a player and has become so clever, footballing-wise. There’s no one more natural in his play than him in the team at the moment.
He causes so many problems for defenders and should perform much better than he did in the fi rst game. Micho plans to stick to his preferred 4-3-3 formation.
And barring any unforeseen knocks or injuries, should stick with the same personnel that served him so well against Burkina Faso. By beating Burkina Faso 2-1, the Cranes earned the right to look pleased with themselves.
But if they continue enjoying the praises sparked by that victory, the wheels will come off in devastating fashion.
Zimbabwe is tricky
Zimbabwe will be a tougher assignment. They are a totally different entity from Burkina Faso. They get men behind the ball and play a compact game, making it hard for the opposition.
There are a few crosses and through-balls you can play as they assemble five midfielders across the pitch.
In Simba Sithole and David Ngoma, Zimbabwe has two lethal forwards. The two should have destroyed Morocco. Ngoma missed twice including hitting the post.
It will be less of a worry if Cranes’ back four keep mistakes to a minimum. Ngoma is Zimbabwe’s star finisher, the orchestrator of their attacking game.
When Ngoma performs, the Warriors normally win. When he doesn’t, they go down with him. Zimbabwe are likely to enjoy home advantage considering that millions of Zimbabweans live in Cape Town and there is a significant number expected to flock Mother City from neighbouring Zimbabwe for this explosive fixture.