The Uganda Cranes face an uphill task when they face hosts Harambee Stars of Kenya in a Group E match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier this afternoon.
After registering a 1-0 win against Ethiopian Premier League Champions Fasil Kenena and losing 2-1 to the national team of Ethiopia few days ago, many are wondering if the Cranes have what it takes to pick maximum points at the Nyayo Stadium today.
But being the East African derby that it is anything is possible, although Uganda has a better head to head record against the hosts.
Uganda’s coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic told media that his players are ready to go and get a good result.
“A football game is far better than 30 training sessions. We have seen where we need to improve coming to the Kenya and Mali games,” Micho observed.
Sredojevic who was re-appointed as national team coach last month after he stepped down in 2017 made it clear that although facing Kenya is always a difficult task, the small details will determine which team takes the day.
The coach said that although more of his players have been out of action because of the lock down in Uganda, they have worked hard to prepare the team.
In the absence of skipper Denis Onyango who retired few months ago, striker Emmanuel Okwi will start his new role as the team captain and hopes that his good luck in Nairobi continues. Okwi scored for the Cranes in the last game against Kenya when the two teams tied 1-1 in an international friendly match played in September 2019.
Kenya’s head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee says although Uganda has a better record against Kenya, it is time for them to write their own history starting with this match today.
The two teams will take to the field knowing that Mali beat Rwanda 1-0 last night to go top of Group B. After facing Kenya, the Cranes will host Mali on September 6th at the St. Marys Stadium, Kitende.
Goalkeepers: Isima Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda), Joel Mutakubwa (Express, Uganda)
Defenders: Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Žižkov, Czech Republic), Mustapha Kizza (CF Montréal, Canada), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Joseph Benson Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Murushid Juuko (Express, Uganda), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City, Uganda), Denis Iguma (KCCA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Abdul Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda)
Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Young Africans, Tanzania), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Waiswa (Super Sport United, South Africa), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda),
Forwards: Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi – Captain, Richard Basangwa (Vipers, Uganda), Steven Desse Mukwala (URA, Uganda)