Sport
Uganda Cranes going for the attack
Publish Date: May 31, 2014
Uganda Cranes going for the attack
Emmanuel Okwi relishes a light moment during training
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By James Bakama

Going by the FIFA rankings an encounter between Madagascar and Uganda should be a no contest. The Indian Ocean island is 103 places behind Uganda on the world football governing body’s performance scale.

The Cranes were two weeks ago however given a rude awakening of how deceptive FIFA’s rankings can be. Uganda was beaten 2-1 by a visibly better playing Madagascar in the first leg of Nations Cup preliminaries.

As the Cranes take on the Barea in the return leg at Namboole today, the 1-0 target that the hosts have to advance would appear an easy task. But just like in the first leg, the Cranes could be in for a huge surprise if they don’t take the visitors seriously.

The recent loss wasn’t the first time that Madagascan triumph over Uganda was happening. In qualifiers for the 1984 Nations Cup finals, the same opponents beat Uganda 1-0 in Madagascar. Uganda won the return leg 2-1 but Madagascar advanced on strength of the away goals rule.

“We can only take them lightly at our own peril,” warned a member of that Cranes side Paul Ssali.

“They are ball players like Ethiopia. If we play to their rhythm, we are finished,” cautioned Ssali.

Ssali, who kept the posts that time, wants Uganda to be aggressive.

“We should be more physical and also make use of the long ball.”


The good news is that Micho will be leading a highly motivated team

Tom Lwanga, who was KCC coach when they played Madagascar’s BFV in 1991 shares a similar view. The physical game had good dividends for Lwanga just like it had also earlier paid off for SC Villa in 1983.

KCC lost the first leg 1-0 but won 3-1 in Kampala to advance in the Africa Cup Winners Cup. Villa had been more imposing in the Africa Club Championship winning 4-2 at Nakivubo before battling to a 1-1 result in Antananarivo.

There is cause to be optimistic today. Contrary to the first leg when Micho Sredojevich lacked the bulk of his first team, the Serbian tactician is this time spoilt for choice. Micho not only has all the players he needs, but will also be favoured by a familiar ground.

The artificial turf in Rabemanjara Mahajanga Stadium had the Cranes struggling.

The ground seemed to give the ball an unfamiliar bounce that always disoriented the visitors. The Cranes also have a passionate home crowd to bank on.

The unfriendly entry fees notwithstanding, Ugandans should turn up in big numbers to cheer on their team. A bad result for the Cranes will have them out of serious international action until late next year.

If Uganda advances it will be up against one more hurdle before getting to the group stage. Whoever qualifies tonight faces the winner between Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea.

The good news is that Micho will be leading a highly motivated team that is well aware of what is at stake.

“We have critically studied the tape of the first leg and will be leaving nothing to chance. We badly need this win and we shall be seriously going for it,” Micho assured Ugandans.


Also related to this story

Uganda Cranes going for the attack

Cranes unveil new home kit ahead of Madagascar game

Uganda Cranes stumble in Madagascar

Zambia 2 Uganda Cranes 1

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
Otile Fund set up after his Professionals Open win
Because of his brilliance, the ‘Ronald Otile Fund’ has been set up and has already received over sh55m in cash and pledges....
Four threats Olympics security chiefs need to stop
Potential problems to keep Olympics security chiefs in Rio de Janeiro awake at night a year before the 2016 Summer Games....
Athletics: Russia, Kenya face new doping allegations
Russia and Kenya are subject to new doping allegations on when a German broadcaster claims evidence of runners doping....
U23 CHAN qualifiers: Uganda dumped out by Egypt
Uganda Kobs' slim hope of progressing to the finals of the CAF Orange U23 African Nations Championship (CHAN) is snuffed out by Egypt....
Otile on top form as Muthiya commands pros
Amateur golf champion Ronald Otile continues to amaze not only the golfing fraternity but also the professionals with whom he is playing with....
Africa Championships: Weightlifter Kawooya bags two gold
Huzaifa Kawooya won the first two gold medals for Uganda as the 9th Africa Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships started in Entebbe....
Should faith based organisations be registered as Non-government organisations?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter