Cranes are ready for tomorrow’s make-or-break fixture against Ghana’s Black Stars. Denis Onyango and Yunus Ssentamu have recovered from their minor injuries and all that’s left now is for the technical team to identify the right formula that will stun Ghana for that vital win at Namboole Stadium.
By Fred Kaweesi
Nations Cup qualifier
Saturday, 4pm, SS7
Uganda v Ghana
Malawi v Mali SS3 3pm
S.Africa v Sudan SS4 3pm
Cameroon v DR Congo SS95pm
M’bique v Zambia 5pm
Congo v Nigeria SS3
Angola v Gabon Maximo
Egypt v Senegal SS3 7pm
Algeria v Ethiopia SS3
Cranes are ready for Saturday’s make-or-break fixture against Ghana’s Black Stars. Denis Onyango and Yunus Ssentamu have recovered from their minor injuries and all that’s left now is for the technical team to identify the right formula that will stun Ghana for that vital win at Namboole Stadium.
The Cranes had their final intense session on Thursday. And from the evidence of the body language and determination that oozed from the group, lead striker Geoffrey Massa feels, Ghana could be in for a rude awakening.
“The spirits are high. Even the players that had injury problems before like Yunus and Denis trained well. We are ready to give everything,” said Massa.
Now that Onyango is back and Ssentamu equally in fi ne spirits, it will be interesting to see how Cranes will set out to play.
To start with, Onyango is certain to retain his starting place despite Robert Odongkara’s impressive qualities in goal.
Savio Kabugo and Andrew Mwesigwa are the obvious candidates in central defence with Isaac Isinde and Brian Majwega occupying the two fullback positions on the right and left respectively.
Although Isinde and Majwega are stop-gap replacements for Denis Iguma and Godfrey Walusimbi, their redeployments could be a blessing in disguise.
Isinde is a natural centre-half that will occasionally find it comfortable switching to the central areas and playing the ball out of defence.
Majwega is more of an offensive player whose attacking instincts will not be restricted by his defensive responsibilities on the day.
It will be interesting to see how Cranes line-up in midfield considering that the hosts are expected to discard their defensive shells for a more positive mind-set.
If Micho Sredojevic chooses to start with two strikers, and wingers Moses Oloya and Luwagga Kizito —which is the ideal strategy — then he will have to sacrifice one of his three preferred holding midfielders in Khalid Aucho, Geoffrey Kizito or Tony Mawejje.
On the evidence of the first round meeting, Ghana exhibited astute movement on and off the ball an indication that Cranes will be required to fall back often when without possession.
Ghana were expected in the country last night and will fly back immediately after the match to begin preparations in earnest for their final qualifier against Togo on Wednesday. The Black Stars are already aware of what to expect.
“Uganda is a good side despite their recent results in the qualifiers but I believe a lot in my (Ghana) team. A victory against them will qualify us to the next Afcon finals so we will fight for a win,” Ayew told Goal Ghana.
“They came to Kumasi to get a point therefore you cannot underrate them. They have some good players and a solid team so we know the threat they possess, but we’re determined to get a victory.”
Uganda Cranes ready to take on Ghana