Playing as captain for one of the two teams that the coach used, Ssentongo scored a brace in the 6-0 win over a Kitara Region side as the team kicked off their preparations for the CHAN qualifier
By Michael Nsubuga
CRANES coach Micho Sredojevic is impressed by the way striker Robert Ssentongo has quickly recovered from his domestic troubles and is now focused on the team’s job.
Playing as captain for one of the two teams that the coach used, Ssentongo scored a brace in the 6-0 win over a Kitara Region side as the team kicked off their preparations for the CHAN qualifier against Sudan on October 17.
As another round of the Nile Special and Airtel sponsored ‘Cranes na Mutima’ regional tours, aimed at popularizing the national team around the country rolled off at Masindi Boma grounds, Ssentongo and his striking partner Caesar Okhuti must have impressed the coach with the way they dispatched a youthful Bunyoro Kitara region side in a 45 minutes blitz.
Julius Ntambi opened the scoring for the Cranes in their first move upfront when Kitara goalkeeper Christopher Kusiima failed to hold on to an Isaac Muleme cross allowing the defender the easiest of tap ins; though it was Kitara who attacked first through John Adriko who shot wide.
But it was the combination of Ceasar Okhuti and Ssentongo that caught the eye. Ssentongo latched on a loose ball after defender Edgar Mujuni fumbled to score the second before he added another shortly. Okhuti and Ssentongo again combined well for the fourth exchanging passes before the former scored with Kitara goalkeeper again at fault of not holding on to the ball firmly.
Kitara reorganized in the second half and kept the ‘more experienced’ second Cranes select side at bay for most of the second half before succumbing to relentless attacks with Muzamir Mutyaba and Frank Kalanda adding two late goals.
“Ssentongo has shown that experience matters in football, he is a very good player and hardworking boy but I cannot say he is now guaranteed a place on the team; we shall continue taking into account other aspects of the game because scoring is ‘just sugar in the tea’,” Micho said after the match.
“We are trying to combine experience and youth as we build the Cameroon 2019 project. I want to ensure that every position on the team has at least 5 players fighting for a place on the team and in future it might be very difficult to choose the best,”
“We used experience to win this game because we have just regrouped, but the result today is of no consequence, but the match helped the team to gel, a lot of experienced and youth are coming through and it’s a pleasure working with them,” Micho stated.
The team will regroup on Saturday and the coach is hopeful his side can land some friendly games on the FIFA dates as they prepare to face a Sudan side that has players who have been involved in continental football this year.
Cranes rout Kitara as tour begins