Can Uganda Secure A Single Point And Qualify After 37-year Absence?

If The Cranes avoid defeat on Wednesday, Uganda will be through to the 2015 Nations Cup regardless of the whether Equatorial Guinea also rethink their hosting rights.

Tony Mawejje controls the ball during a game against Togo at Namboole. Net picture
Tony Mawejje controls the ball during a game against Togo at Namboole. Net picture

Uganda Cranes are only in need of a point to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations tournament and they will be confident of getting at least that when they visit Guinea in the final Group E qualifier in Casablanca Morocco on Wednesday. They have a lot of pressure on them now that they have been there before losing to Niger (2008) and Angola (2011).

Kick-off is at 8:00pm (East African time).

Uganda currently sit second in Group E with 7 points from their five games after two wins, two losses and one draw tied with Guinea, but with a superior goal difference, and Togo with six. Having recovered from the two 1-0 back-to-back defeats to Togo, the Cranes to a resurgent 1-0 win over the Ghana Black Stars to open the group wide.

Defender Savio Kabugo was the unlikely scorer with a 10th minute header that beat the Black Stars goalkeeper Razak Braimah.
Defender Savio Kabugo was the unlikely scorer with a 10th minute header that beat the Black Stars goalkeeper Razak Braimah.

Uganda’s defence has been brilliant throughout the qualifying and Guinea will have their work cut out if they are to breach.

Guinea, though, have shown they are no slouches in front of goal having racked up eight goals in their five qualifying matches that sees them in third place leading the way for the three best losers’ spots.

Massa' double gives Uganda Cranes a 2-0 win at Guinea at Namboole in September
A Massa double gave Uganda Cranes a 2-0 win at Guinea at Namboole in September

So if coach, Micho Sredojevic’s young Cranes side draw on Wednesday and match up with a Togo beating Ghana in Tamale, then obviously Uganda would move top of the Black Stars according to CAF rules that consider number of points check, tie-breaker rules accumulated then head-to-head (Cranes took four points from them.) Better still a win will mean Cranes go on 10 points and regardless of the results from the Ghana – Togo fixture, they can only finish in the top two.

Uganda Cranes coach, Micho Sredojevic, is increasingly confident he can lead Uganda to the Promised Land.
Uganda Cranes coach, Micho Sredojevic, is increasingly confident he can lead Uganda to the Promised Land.

If Ghana beats Togo with Cranes beating Guinea, they will finish on 11 points, Uganda on 10, Guinea on 7 and Togo on 6 points. Remember if the two group games end in stalemates, the table stays unchanged and Uganda qualifies behind Ghana and Guinea would wait for results from other groups to determine the third place qualification.

Guinea drubbing of Togo in Lome leaves the Cranes needing just a draw in Casablanca to qualify for the Afcon finals for the first time in 37 years. Photo/John Batanudde
Guinea drubbing of Togo in Lome leaves the Cranes needing just a draw in Casablanca to qualify for the Afcon finals for the first time in 37 years. Photo/John Batanudde

Micho just has to make sure his side wins and qualifies for the finals for the first time in 37 years to save Ugandans of the heartbreaking mathematics.

Uganda’s defence has been brilliant throughout the qualifying and Guinea will have their work cut out if they are to breach. Photo/John Batanudde
Uganda’s defence has been brilliant throughout the qualifying and Guinea will have their work cut out if they are to breach. Photo/John Batanudde

If two teams have the same points at the end of the group qualifiers for next year’s tournament, according to CAF, these will be the tiebreakers;

Number of points obtained in games between the teams concerned
Goal difference in games between the teams concerned (head-to-head)
Goals scored in games between the teams concerned
 Away goals scored in games between the teams concerned
Goal difference in all games
Goals scored in all games
Drawing of lots

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