• No_Ads
Sport
I've asked my players to possess the ball —MichoPublish Date: Jan 20, 2014
I've asked my players to possess the ball —Micho
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Fred Kaweesi

Africa Nations Championship
Today, 8pm, SS Select 2
Morocco v Uganda
Burkina Faso v Zimbabwe

Keep calm, uphold your discipline and keep in mind the rewards of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN)!

That will definitely be coach Micho Sredejovic’s briefing ahead of today’s explosive Group B fixture against Morocco at Cape Town Stadium.

The Serbian has taken his charges through replays of Morocco’s previous games, debriefed each player on their direct opponents and emphasized the need to possess the ball a lot better. All that is left now is implementing that tutorial over 90 minutes of tension-packed football.

“We will need endurance and good tactical movement to overcome them,” Micho told New Vision Sport on Saturday.

Hassan Wasswa, Denis Iguma and Said Kyeyune prepare for the contest against Morocco. Photo by Kenneth Muwanga

Cranes have been training at Langa Stadium ahead of the crunch tie. Photo by Kenneth Muwanga

Uganda has four points on top of Group B, two ahead of Zimbabwe, Morocco and three ahead of bottom-placed Burkina Faso. The statistics in the group mean that all four sides can now progress to the quarterfinals and that Cranes must avoid defeat against the Atlas Lions if they are to make a direct entry to the knockout stages.

Of course, a draw between Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe could still favour Uganda even in defeat but experienced regular campaigners in such huge tournaments will tell you that it’s never advisable to rely on situations out of your control.

The maths involved

The permutations below explain why Cranes must avoid defeat.
 

  •  If Burkina Faso beat Zimbabwe and Uganda loses to Morocco, the West Africans will move to four points (the same number with Cranes). It means Uganda and Burkina Faso could then be separated by goal difference to determine who finishes behind Morocco (on five points).

 

The team forms a huddle as Micho delivers innstructions before the session. Photo by Kenneth Muwanga

Midfielder Said Kyeyune is put through his paces. Photo by Kenneth Muwanga

  •  If Zimbabwe beat Burkina Faso and Uganda loses to Morocco, the Warriors will move to five points (one ahead of Uganda). It means Zimbabwe will qualify alongside Morocco. Zimbabwe could still qualify if both Uganda and Morocco also draw.

Uganda’s chances

The situation means that Uganda should beat or at least draw against Morocco to be assured of a direct ticket to the quarterfinals. And they can.

The Cranes beat Morocco 1-0 during the 2011 LG Cup tournament hosted in Marrakech. Hassan Wasswa and Vincent Kayizzi are the only surviving members from the team which achieved that historic result.

All that coach Micho needs to do is assemble the right team, opt for the right formation and remind his charges of their precious qualities —the kind that helped them stun Burkina Faso 2-1 in their first game.

South Africa police overseeing the team's security watch from the sidelines. Photo by Kenneth Muwanga

The Serb is already aware of the underhand tactics that North Africans normally adopt in such decisive fixtures. Chief among them is diving to win penalties or tricking their opponents into unnecessary bookings.

“We will have to be mentally steady to match them. I have lived with North Africans long enough to know what they will try to do to win the game. We will have to be prepared,” he pointed.

The pain in Morocco’s ranks will stem from Brahim El Bahri and Abdelkbir El Ouadi. Cranes back-four marshalled by Savio Kabugo and Richard Kasagga will have to deliver their best performances yet to contain the two.

If midfielders Hassan Wasswa, Ivan Ntege and Denis Iguma can thwart Morocco’s fluid-passing game, possess and pass the ball better, then youngster Yunus Sentamu will come to life.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Uganda makes slow start in South Africa
UGANDA'S ambitions of winning the Zone 6 Africa golf championships started on a wrong note when they won only two games out of eight in the singles round, as South Africa blazed into the lead on the opening day...
Sseguya not ready to faint again
The Protector Franchise team coach Robert Sseguya is not ready make a repeat of what happened on Saturday during the final of the Protector Rugby Super Series Tournament at Kyadondo when he fainted and was rushed for medical attention as his side lost both the trophy and sh4m cash prize to Crocs....
KCCA edge closer to league title
HERMAN Wasswa promised that he would score against Vipers and he did exactly that today as KCCA got their 15th win to edge closer to a tenth league title...
Bukenya confident of joining Bombers
SEASONED boxer Nasser Bukenya is optimistic that that he can win a gold or silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year if he is handed the chance...
CANA Championships receive cash boost
MIDLAND Group of Companies has offered Uganda Swimming Federation sh7m towards organization of the Africa Zone Three and Four Swimming Confederation Championship...
Foreign riders begin arriving for Africa event
KENYA’S top rider in the MX85cc Elias Sherman and MX1 team mate Samir Sherman are not taking anything for granted and have made an early arrival to spy on their rivals...
Is the return of Buganda Properties a sign of good Governance?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter