Uganda Cranes hope to utilize the home advantage on Saturday when they host Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in the second leg of the 2014 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala.
The game presents Uganda with another chance to qualify for the CHAN event meant for players featuring in a local league at home. The Cranes appeared in the 2011 event in Khartoum, Sudan.
Cranes skipper Hassan Mawanda Wasswa told local media on Friday afternoon that the team will use the home advantage maximally to qualify for the 2014 CHAN event.
The contest promises to be a thriller as the visitors have vowed to turn tables and get a win to deny the hosts chance to qualify for the tournament next year in South Africa. Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen said that the team would put up a spirited fight to win this game.
However, Poulsen’s biggest worry which partly forced the team not to train on Thursday is that more than half of the team is fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Uganda’s coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said since this match is more like a Cup final because it means a lot to the Ugandan players, they are going to make some tactical changes.
Micho who has won three international games and lost one since taking over in May said that early goals will be very vital for his team to kill off the game. He said good finishing would be key to winning the game.
In the absence of strikers Patrick Edema who traveled for trials in Portugal and injured Tony Odur, the likes of Frank Kalanda and Simon Okwi are expected to lead Uganda’s goal hunt.
The Cranes who lead 1-0 after the first leg need a draw of any kind to progress, while Taifa Stars need a win with more than two goals to dump the regional champions. Azam FC’s John Bocco is expected to lead the goal hunt for the visitors together with industrious attacking midfielder Mrisho Ngassa.