TOP
Sunday,August 09,2020 12:17 PM

Skipper Sekagya confident of Cranes' win

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th March 2011 03:00 AM

EACH time Cranes have gathered for lunch or supper here in the last three days, the main topic of discussion among the players has had nothing to do with mouth-watering meals each has been served.

EACH time Cranes have gathered for lunch or supper here in the last three days, the main topic of discussion among the players has had nothing to do with mouth-watering meals each has been served.

By FRED KAWEESI
in GUINEA BISSAU

Tomorrow, 7pm

G.Bissau v Uganda

EACH time Cranes have gathered for lunch or supper here in the last three days, the main topic of discussion among the players has had nothing to do with mouth-watering meals each has been served.

For every bite of chicken, there has been a mention of Guinea Bissau. For every sip of beverage, players have shared ideas on what needs to be done to over-run the West Africans tomorrow in a Nations Cup qualifier that will literally decide Cranes’ qualification prospects.

Players focused

“These guys are focused. They have responded well in training and really want to win this game. I am happy to have top professionals that know what the game means for them and the country,” Cranes coach Bobby Williamson told New Vision yesterday.

Since the team arrived in the Senegalese capital on Tuesday, the spirits have been high among the squad of 18.
Not even the troubles of trying to re-adjust to the discomfort of playing on a plastic pitch during training sessions have dampened the team’s mood.

“The artificial turf will be a problem. It’s going to be difficult for us and easier for them (Guinea Bissau) because it’s what they are used to playing on. But hopefully we’ll adjust well and enjoy the game.

“Of course we have to be realistic, Guinea Bissau is a strong side with top professional players but we will try to give it our best,”

Williamson remarked soon after a training session early yesterday.

On the evidence of the team’s work outs in training, Williamson has impressed on his men the need to test the hosts’ endurance levels with pace and efficiency on the counter.

Thankfully, even the injury-prone stars David Obua and team captain Ibrahim Sekagya have proved their fitness levels.

Williamson said having professonals based in Europe travel directly to Dakar, Senegal first, then to Guinea Bissau, saved them from exhaustion.

Their home based colleagues from Kampala endured 9 hours of travel through Kenya and Mali before reaching Dakar.

Fever grips hosts

Guinea Bissau has been gripped not just by excitement ahead of tomorrow’s match, but by expectation as well. In every metro station and every bar, there are posters advertising “the game that will decide all”.

In a mosque in Bissau and in a basilica which is modelled like St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, fans have turned to supplication in the hope of football glory.

“We’ve spoken to God with a sincere, open heart and God has always answered our prayers. That’s why I’m optimistic,” one stated.

If Cranes win, then a victory at home against Guinea Bissau in June will literally assure them of a place in the 2012 finals, while a win for Guinea could elevate them to the summit.

Lessons
Inevitably, all thoughts are going back to the year
2009
when
the Cranes faced another must-win qualifier against Niger in Niamey and fell short with a 3-1 defeat despite taking the lead in that particular game.

“We have learnt a lot since. We know what this game means. We need no reminders. All we need are three points,” Cranes captain Ibrahim Sekagya stated.

Spiritual home

The Estadio 24 may be the spiritual home of Guinea Bissau football but if it’s not full it can feel cavernously empty, which perhaps explains why the national team has struggled there before in previous campaigns.

Against Kenya, though, with almost 20,000 packed in, the atmosphere was as passionate as anywhere in the world, with waves of noise sweeping down from the stands. Something similar is anticipated this weekend.

Skipper Sekagya confident of Cranes' win

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author