By Katongole Kiwanuka
SATURDAY OCT. 13
Uganda vs Zambia (Agg: 0-1)
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Uganda Cranes coach Bobby Williamson could hand 19-year-old Godfrey ‘Baba’ Kizito a starting role ahead of Tony Mawejje.
The Vietnam-based teenager was impressive in the first leg in Ndola, where he was superb on his debut and while the Cranes were training yesterday, the Scottish tactician seemed to be looking at consolidating a midfield partnership with Hassan Wasswa as the defensive midfielder.
The Cranes, who trained for about two hours, putting final fingers on the team strategy, Williamson deployed Kizito and other contenders Chrysostom Ntambi and Mawejje seemed to be second in Williamson’s plans.
Assistant coach Jackson Mayanja was coy on saying whether this was the pair agreed upon in a game the Scot is anticipated to attack, but hinted everyone was set.
“These young players who joined the national team are professionals. They have seen bigger challenges outside Uganda. Even when they come on, they don’t find any problems,” Mayanja explained.
Mayanja admitted that each player has his won strengths and weaknesses in the position, but stressed that a decision will only be made after a close examination by all the technical people involved in the team selection.
“We know Mawejje has a lot of experience and he likes to attack. We also know that Kizito did well in the first game. By the way we have good players in that position. It will all depend on the circumstances,” Mayanja explained.
Mayanja acknowledged that it was important for the Cranes side to look to the future, explaining the inclusion of another youngster Ntambi as indicative of the desire to build a strong future side that can compete in all competitions.
“I don’t know for how long we’ll be here but I think it’s better that we look to the future. I saw Ntambi in training and I think he is very good for the future of the team.”
Meanwhile, Sula Matovu could start on the left wing where Mike Sserumaga failed to impress in Zambia. A striking partnership of Emma Okwi and Geoffrey Massa could be handed the mantle to search for goals with Dan Wagaluka likely to start on the right wing ahead of sensational Moses Oloya.
The defence looks unlikely to change as Simeon Massa is likely to maintain his place on the right while Godfrey Walusimbi looks certain to retain his role on the left. The Scot also looked contented with the central defence partnership of Henry Kalungi and Andy Mwesigwa.
First choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango who created a scare when he limped off the morning training session, confirmed to Pepper Sport that he was ok. There should be few worries though as Abel Dhaira, who has just been voted the player of the year at his Iceland IBV side is a reliable replacement.
Coach Williamson does not expect his side to dominate the Zambians tomorrow.
“I expect a difficult game. Of course we are playing the defending champions and they are very good at counter attacking.
“It may not even get to counter attacking; it may be end to end stuff because we won’t dominate Zambia by any stretch of imagination.
Predicted Starting XI: D. Onyango, G. Massa, A. Mwesigwa, H. Kalungi, G. Walusimbi, H. Wasswa, D. Wagaluka, G. Kizito, S. Massa, E. Okwi and S. Matovu