Alain Giresse, coach of the Teranga Lions of Senegal, has admitted that Uganda’s display was a surprise when the two teams faced-off last weekend in a 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Stade Marrakech, Morocco.
Senegal, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, went on to beat a 10-man Uganda Cranes team 1-0 to qualify for the final phase of the qualifiers for next year’s biggest football showpiece in Brazil.
“We did not expect Uganda to play that well.
They played well and looked very confident even after getting the red card in the first half,” said Giresse.
The French-born coach said although his team did not play well enough, the Ugandans were very tactical and unlucky not to score when they created chances.
Senegal needed a late Sadio Mane goal to win the game.
Cranes left-side defender Geoffrey Walusimbi was sent off for a foul on Gassama Lamine in the 36th minute, while Isaac Isinde was also cautioned earlier for Uganda.
Giresse said although they had won the game and qualified for the next round, they will have to work hard to prepare for the two-legged decider.
“I have a lot of work to do to tune my team so that they are ready for the next matches.
I cannot promise that we shall qualify for the World Cup, but we shall work hard to get there,” added the coach.
Besides Senegal, the other nations that have qualified for the last phase include Cecafa region representatives Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast and the Black Stars of Ghana among others.