By Fred Kaweesi
Uganda v Angola
UGANDAâ€™S humiliating loss to Benin over the weekend owed much more to â€œforces of nature than goalkeeping errorsâ€, according to custodian Dennis Onyango.
â€œI understand the fans must have been disappointed but I am sorry over what happened. We intend to put that right this Saturday,â€ Onyango said yesterday minutes after Cranes returned from Benin.
While Onyango assumed responsibility for the traumatic 4-1 defeat, the 22-year-old goalkeeper could not entirely discount â€œsupernatural forcesâ€ from the defeat.
â€œThe atmosphere in the stadium was weird,â€ he narrated. â€œThere were so many witch-doctors around the turf, the stadium was extremely windy, with thunderstorms and yet there wasnâ€™t rain.â€
Onyango went on: â€œThese are no excuses but just shocking facts.â€
Superstition, commonly referred to as voodoo, is an official religion in Benin, practised by over 70% of the population.
Voodoo practitioners are reported to have been presented with premier viewing points at the 35,000 capacity Stade de lâ€™Amitie, the venue of the match.
Onyango came under relentless attack last week after a series of scandalous decisions in the game. Aerial balls are Onyangoâ€™s main weakness, and it showed in the Benin game.
The SuperSport United custodian looked short on confidence and extremely suspect in leaving his lines early, while the teamâ€™s attitude drew plenty of criticism.
The South-Africa based goalkeeper and his teammates have promised to respond in the only way they know how, if selected for the Angola fixture.
The Cranes defied fatigue and took part in their first training session yesterday afternoon â€” just an hour after checking into their team residence at Sky Hotel.
Cranes captain Ibrahim Sekagya, Nestroy Kizito and Noah â€˜Babadiâ€™ Kasule are all still being awaited in camp.
While Cranes are struggling to contend with the certain absence of injured lead striker Geoffrey Massa, Angola are likewise sweating on the fitness of three first team stars; Flavio Amado da Silva, Gilberto and Manucho.
Benin gets coach
Frenchman Michel Dussuyer has signed a two-year deal to coach Benin.
He takes over from Wabi Gomez, who was in charge for the opening 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Angola and Uganda this month. It is the second time in a year that Gomez has been usurped by a foreign coach. Gomez qualified his native Benin for the last African Nations Cup finals but Reinhardt Fabisch replaced him.