World Cup qualifier, Saturday, Sept 7
Senegal vs Uganda, 11pm, EAT
Senegal host Uganda Cranes in crucial Group J 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Senegal today at the Stade de Marrakech Stadium in Morocco.
The two clash at the neutral ground – thanks to a ban on Dakar for home crowd violence last year – with work for each cut out.
Senegal top the group with nine points, one ahead of Uganda. Micho Sredojevic’s Uganda Cranes must beat Senegal to book a place in the play-offs while Alain Giresse’s Lions of Teranga will do with a draw, just like they did in Kampala in the first leg.
And the Frenchman’s West African side go into the tie as favourites, at least on paper. Senegal have scored more (eight against Uganda’s five) and conceded fewer goals (four against Uganda’s five) than any other side in Group J and Micho will be aware of that.
The Serb, Micho, is intent of making doubters eat their words.
“We know Senegal are not better than us in motivation, in fighting spirit, we believe that we shall do our best to give a good performance and result.”
“I know more about some Senegal players than even their coach knows, but anything is possible in football,” added the coach.
The coach said he will walk into the Stadium Saturday with no fear at all, but only to go all out and shout like a true commander on a battle field going all out for victory.
“We have prepared well and the boys have worked so hard and are ready for the battle,” added Micho.
The coach said that Senegal is a very good team, but he will get the solutions to get the best out of the team and win the game.
“We need nothing but a win and that is what we shall go for. We have all reasons that we shall get the reward of our hard work,” added the Serb.
Although the coach refused to name his starting team, striker Emmanuel Okwi who netted a brace against Botswana in the 3-1 win is a sure starter.
“I am ready to guide the team because we need the goals,” Okwi told intimated.
Okwi also scored one of the goals in the Cranes 2-1 home win over Angola in June.
Micho also thanked the Ugandan government for the good gesture of bringing over 150 fans to cheer the team today.
“This is very good and we hope the fans will make us feel at home and cheer the team from the start to the end,” added the coach.
Captain Andy Mwesigwa, if passed fit, will partner Isaac Isinde in central defence and together with Denis Guma and Godfrey Walusimbi will ensure the likes of Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce) and Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow) are not given liberty in the forbidden area.
Hassan Wasswa, Geoffrey Kizito and Tonny Mawejje will have to be at their best in the middle of the park to thwart West Ham’s Mouhamed Diamé and SK Bramm’s Stéphane Badji while Martin Mutumba and Moses Oloya, odds on to start, will be charged with providing Emmanuel Okwi opportunities.
3 – Times Uganda and Senegal have met recently
1– Senegal win(s)
0– Uganda wins
77 – Uganda Fifa ranking
78 – Senegal Fifa ranking
2014 WC QUALIFIERS
P W D L F A Pts
Senegal 5 2 3 0 8 4 9
Uganda 5 2 2 1 5 5 8
Angola 5 0 4 1 4 5 4
Liberia 5 1 1 3 3 6 4
GROUP J RESULTS
Liberia 0-0 Angola
Senegal 3-1 Liberia
Uganda 1-1 Senegal
Angola 1-1 Uganda
Liberia 2-0 Uganda
Senegal 0-0 Angola
Uganda 1-0 Liberia
Angola 1-1 Senegal
Uganda 2-1 Angola
Liberia 0-2 Senegal
R. Odongkara, A. Mwesigwa, I. Isinde, D. Guma, G. Walusimbi, W. Hassan, G. Kizito, T. Mawejje, M. Oloya, M. Mutumba, E. Okwi
Subs: D. Onyango, H. Muwonge, H. Kalungi, S. Kabugo, R. Kasagga, J. Ochaya, M. Azira, B. Majjwega, H. Hamis, F. Kalanda, R. Ssentongo
Goalkeepers: Bouna Coundoul (Ethnikos), Cheikh Ndiaye (Rennes), Issa Ndiaye (Créteil)
Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Lorient), Issa Cissokho, Pape Mison Djilobodji (FC Nantes), Lamine Sané (Bordeaux), Cheikh Kouyaté (Anderlecht), Kara Mbodj (Genk), Cheikh Mbengue (Toulouse) and Pape Ndiaye Souaré (Lille).
Midfielders: Mouhamed Diamé (West Ham), Idrissa Gana Guèye (Lille), Salif Sané (Hanover), Stéphane Badji (SK Bramm) and Alfred Ndiaye (Eskishirspor).
Strikers: Sadio Mané (Salzburg), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce), Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow), Mame Birame Diouf (Hanover), Modou Sougou (Evian) and Ibrahima Baldé (Kuban Krasnodar).