By: Nsereko Musoke Isa
AFCON 2022 Qualifiers
Uganda vs South Sudan – November 12, St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
South Sudan vs Uganda – November 16, Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi
Uganda Cranes Head Coach Jonathan McKinstry expects a big huddle ahead of him together with his charges against South Sudan.
However, he is quick to say the team is ready to face the challenge ahead.
The Irishman also noted that football is a game that can’t be predicted at any time of the day due to the reigning shockers that are witnessed day in, day out as underdog upset the big wigs on different levels of the beautiful game.
“We have got to be ready for the fight” McKinstry told the media after a training session on Friday. before continuing.
“We should all know that South Sudan is going to come here and put up everything in place to stage a well deserved challenge”
“Remember there are a few players with a Ugandan background and a few others who play in the Uganda Premier League so they will have a point to prove and they will want to make a name for themselves. If we relax South Sudan will be ready to punish us.”
The Irishman further informed that the two games are very crucial because they can keep the Cranes in the top position if handled in the most appropriate way.
“We want to come from these two games against South Sudan still holding onto that top spot. We Know that if we can pick up maximum points it might be enough to seal qualification though it depends on the game between Burkina Faso against Malawi.”
McKinstry also noted that regardless of the position they hold, the team is supposed to go and stage a top performance because when one looks at South Sudan’s few internationals played a couple of friendlies have ended as draws or losses of a one goal margin.
“I think a lot of people in Uganda can remember South Sudan from the early days when the score was five, six or seven goals but that was yesterday and not today.”
Uganda Cranes are set to lock horns with South Sudan at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende in the fist leg of the two qualifying matches.
The second leg will be played four days later on November 16 at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.
Uganda are in the driving sit of group B after managing a point from Burkina Faso and later gathering four points from Malawi through a win and a draw.
Uganda Cranes will be hoping to reach their third consecutive AFCON final having featured in Gabon in 2017 and Egypt in 2019.
The 22-man local-based Players Squad
Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume FC)
Defenders: Derrick Ndahiro (SC Villa), Disan Galiwango (Vipers SC), Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Ashraf Mandela (URA), Denis Iguma (KCCA FC), Samuel Kato (KCCA FC), Murushid Juuko (Express FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Patrick Mbowa (URA FC)
Midfielders: Tony Mawejje (Police FC), Saidi Kyeyune (URA FC), Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Karim Watambala (Vipers SC), David Owori (SC Villa), Bright Anukani (KCCA FC)
Forwards: Ibrahim Oriti (Vipers Sc), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Steven Mukwala (URA FC), Brian Aheebwa (KCCA FC).
The 20-man foreign-based squad
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns), Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal Omdurman),
Defenders: Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe), Alex Kakuba (Cova de Piedade), Nicholas Wadada (Azam FC), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United), Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds FK), Timothy Awany (Ashdod FC),
Midfielders: Micheal Azira (Chicago Fire), Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba), Farouk Miya (Konyaspor), Emmanuel Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria), Allan Kymabadde (El Gounah FC), Allan Okello (Paradou FC),
Forwards: Fahad Bayo (Ashdod FC), Edrisa Lubega (Paide Linnameeskond), Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha FC), Mubiru Uche Ikpeazu (Wycombe Wanderers), Alexis Bbakka (Umea FC)