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We have a plan for Adebayor — Onyango

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th October 2014 01:24 PM

On Thursday, Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango spent relatively more time in bed than usual. That had nothing to do with the pain in his shoulder.

We have a plan for Adebayor — Onyango

On Thursday, Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango spent relatively more time in bed than usual. That had nothing to do with the pain in his shoulder.

By Fred Kaweesi

Nations Cup qualifiers

Saturday, 4pm, SS9E

Uganda v Togo
Guinea v Ghana
Wednesday
Togo v Uganda
Ghana v Guinea
November 15
Uganda v Ghana
Togo v Guinea
November 19
Guinea v Uganda
Ghana v Togo

On Thursday, Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango spent relatively more time in bed than usual. That had nothing to do with the pain in his shoulder.

Considering that the team didn’t have an early morning training session, it allowed him an hour of deep thought. His thoughts were centred on Saturday’s must win fixture against Togo.

His thoughts were geared on identifying solutions on how to combat not only danger-man Emmanuel Adebayor but a host of the team’s other stars.

“We all know Adebayor’s strengths. He is good at set-pieces. We need to stop the crosses from coming in and try to be as disciplined as possible,” Onyango told New Vision.

Onyango has had a fantastic Nations Cup qualifying campaign so far. Although he hasn’t been involved in club football yet at Mamelodi Sundowns, he is highly regarded for his outstanding concentration and shot stopping abilities.

However, it’s his 6ft 1inch frame and brilliant game reading of aerial balls that could prove decisive against the Adebayor-led Togolese attack.

“We will have to stay focused throughout the game. We will have to work for each other,” Onyango added.

Tottenham striker Adebayor is Togo’s most prominent star. When the 30-year-old is in the team, he is the captain and biggest threat alongside attacking partner Serge Gakpe.

Trouble across But it could prove catastrophic if Cranes game plan highlights Adebayor, Gakpe and ignores the two Ayite brothers —Floyd (Reims) and Jonathan (Brest).

True, if Adebayor is not scoring, he is chasing down lost causes, always on the shoulder of the last man and causing havoc with his hold-up play.

But it’s the contributions of the Ayite brothers that could prove rather devastating. Jonathan struck Togo’s consolation in the 2-1 defeat to Guinea while Floyd notched the Hawks opening goal in the 3-2 defeat to Ghana.

Unlike Jonathan, Floyd is a permanent fixture in the team. He is the heart and soul of Tchakala Tchanile’s Hawks side. Then there is Moustapha Salifou, who turns out for German side 1860 Rosenheim. Just like Adebayor, Salifou is one of the surviving members of the Togo team that took part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The former Aston Villa midfielder played in all three of Togo’s group games in that World Cup against South Korea, Switzerland and France.

His impressive performance at the World Cup prompted the nickname of the ‘Togolese Zidane’ or ‘the great of the figure of eight’ from Adebayor, due to Salifou’s playmaking nature.

Salifou dangerous Just like Floyd, Salifou is devastating from set pieces and crosses —the main reason Cranes will have to be disciplined and fullbacks Denis Iguma and Godfrey Walusimbi will need to be at their best.

“We need to close down crosses into the box. We have worked out a plan for that,” added Onyango.

But that does not mean that Togo will find it easy as their back is clustered with unknowns. If Cranes play with two strikers, Tawali Magnima, Serge Akakpo, Donou Kokou and Sadate Ouro- Akoriko could be in for a busy afternoon.

Togo’s probable line-up: Agassa, Magnima, Akakpo, Kokou, Ouro-Akoriko, Salifou, Wome, Romao, Ayite, Adebayor, Gakpe

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