Old Memories Evoked as Cranes Host Kenya in Build Up Friendly

Uganda Cranes and Kenya’s Harambee stars lock horns on Tuesday afternoon in a highly awaited international build up friendly at the Mandela national stadium in Namboole.

The Cranes are fine tuning for the last 90 minutes of the 2017 AFCON qualifying match against Comoros on Sunday 4th September. Only a victory will bring an end to the 38 year drought spell since the 74′, click 76′ and 78′ appearances.

Uganda are second in group D in the road to Gabon with ten points same as Burkina Faso with the stallions boasting a better head to head advantage.

Kenya on the other side has only pride and FIFA rankings at stake with their qualification chances already dead and burried. The stars are rooted in group E with only four points from a single win and draw. That makes their final game away to Zambia a mere formality match.

The last time both teams met was last November in Ethiopia in a Cecafa opener where Kenya defeated Uganda 2-0 with goals from Jacob Keli and Michael Olunga even though the Cranes presented a largely unfamiliar squad.

October 8 2011
This match is vividly back dates memories to the AFCON 2012 qualifiers when Uganda was exactly in the same qualification situation as today.

Cranes needed just a win to qualify for the 2012 AFCON which was incidentally held in Gabon, the same hosts for the next year’s edition. The Kenyans fastened their belts and picked a barren draw to the dismay of the Ugandans.

Onyango Mawejje, Kayizzi, Massa, Hassan Wasswa, Walusimbi, Oloya and Geoffrey Sserunkuma all featured in that match and are available for selection on Tuesday. Only Wanyama is present for the Kenyans who featured in that squad.


Micho’s boys have won only one game in eight outings this year, the victory coming in the last qualifier against Botswana while the Kenyans are not any better boasting a win, a draw and two losses in the period.

Cranes are the best ranked team in the region on 65th place globally and 14 the in the continent, nine ahead of Kenya who are 83 in the world.

With all that, Cranes boss Milutin Sredojevic has cautioned the 32 players he summoned that those given a chance must prove their cause to be on the final sheet against Comoros.

“Every player must strongly convince us why they should play on 4th. The match carries the hope of 38million Ugandans and therefore need the most committed players. We shall use the match to grade them and come up with final squad.”

The only miss for Uganda is dependable right back Dennis Iguma who wasn’t called up since he is not eligible for Comoros tie. Goalie Robert Odonkara is also missing due to disciplinary issues while Onyango maybe rested for Tuesday game. He nearly picked a hamstring in a club game on Sunday and may need further examinations.

Micho is expected to put a more experimental side against Kenya with some of the big boys to watch from the sidelines or play less minutes.

Salim Jamal, Bevis Mugabi, Isaac Isinde,  Hassan Waswa, Aucho, Mawejje, Ochaya, Walusimbi, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Miya, Shaban.

All eyes will focus on the biggest star on the field, Kenya’s Victor Wanyama and the Zesco united trio of David Owino and Jesse Jackson Were who has been very lethal in the CAF champions league and Zambian League. For Mahia’s sensational left back Eric ‘Mercello’ Ouma is also expected to cause a threat with his calculated runs and on point crosses.

Oluoch bonny, Mandela Brian, David Ochieng’, Eric Ouma ‘Marcelo’, David Owino, Vincent wanyama, Ayub Timbe, Danson Kago, Jesse were, Johanna Eric


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