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Can Cranes mastermind another fight back?

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th June 2012 12:19 PM

For the last two weeks, Cranes have ‘impressed’. Considering the World Cup qualifying opposition they have battled in Angola and Senegal in back-to-back fixtures, Cranes have amazed in more ways than one.

Can Cranes mastermind another fight back?

For the last two weeks, Cranes have ‘impressed’. Considering the World Cup qualifying opposition they have battled in Angola and Senegal in back-to-back fixtures, Cranes have amazed in more ways than one.

By Fred Kaweesi

For the last two weeks, Cranes have ‘impressed’. Considering the World Cup qualifying opposition they have battled in Angola and Senegal in back-to-back fixtures, Cranes have amazed in more ways than one.

Although the 1-1 draws against the two African giants are worth celebrating, it’s their new-found never-say-die qualities in both games that left an everlasting impression, qualities that will be needed marching into today’s make-or-break Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Congo Brazzaville.

In the previous two games, Cranes proved they are the masters of comebacks.

They fell a goal behind against Angola in Luanda and fought back to secure a 1-1 draw on 87 minutes.

Against Senegal, Cranes yet again fell behind to a Pappis Demba Cisse goal but fought back to rescue the fixture with almost all hope deflated.

At Namboole Stadium today, Cranes’ fight-back spirits will be required if they are to overturn their 3-1 first leg defeat with a 2-0 victory against a physical Congolese side and earn a place in the final round of the play-offs in September.

Of course, the temptation to be cautious will be there, as a goal for the visitors will dent Uganda’s hopes. But sometime you can be too cautious and play straight into the hands of the opposition.

 

Need to be efficient

It’s why Cranes will haveto identify the right system and put away every chance that comes their way while extremely organised and disciplined at the back.

“I did not play in Congo but from what my teammates tell me, we can win with the right attitude. We are already two goals down, so we will need early goals and whoever the coach chooses should be able to do that,” striker Geoffrey Massa stated earlier.

Although Uganda thankfully does build something of a fortress at home, Cranes players will be under the strictest of orders not to sit back. The team’s togetherness, the desire to accept the ball in the tightest of situations, with colleagues always making space to help out, will be extremely fundamental.

Coach Bobby Williamson plans to shakeeach of his players’ hands and where necessary offer words of encouragement as the task at hand is quite massive.

The threat in Congo will stem from Prince Oniangue, who scored twice in the first leg, with the budding talents of N’Guessi Ondama and Matt Moussilou pivoting behind him.

 

Defenders must be alert

Defenders Henry Kalungi and Andrew Mwesigwa will have to deliver their best performances yet to contain the trio.

In the absence of suspended midfielder Tony Mawejje, Hassan Wasswa might start ahead of Johnson Bagoole and Mudde Musa in the holding role.

If Wasswa does start, he will be asked to thwart Congo’s aerial and physical game to allow attacking midfielders Mike Sserumaga and Moses Oloya express themselves and create scoring opportunities for whichever strikers that will be fielded.

Williamson has four strikers at his disposal in Massa, Emmanuel Okwi, Brian Umony  and Robert Ssentongo.

Whichever formation (4-4-2 or 4-3-3) Williamson intends to roll out, Massa is the bookmakers’ favourite to lead Uganda’s goal hunt, his dismal goals return in the last couple of years not withstanding.

The question is who, on the basis of form and style of play will support him in attack?

 

Massa might not be a goal-perchance striker but he offers the team a lot going forward. He is fast and will give the team pace and power over 90 minutes.

Cranes will need a character that irritates defenders with a shove here, an elbow there and the trickery to win a set-piece.

In the process, this will relieve either Okwi or Umony of any physical confrontations and the only task the two will have is feed off any loose balls.

Okwi’s pace and eye for goal can be an asset for any team. He also runs through the channels brilliantly, a positive that can open up any defence.

Umony is equally lethal. His physical confrontations against Senegal denied him the opportunity of concentrating on what he does best —scoring, which is what we need today.

Good luck boys!

Can Cranes mastermind another fight back?

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