Uganda Cranes’ Date With Destiny

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

Wednesday could be the day. This could be the day when Ugandans stop agonizing over count-backs to 1978 or, well…, continue.

Uganda will qualify for the first time in 37 years if they beat or draw with Guinea on Wednesday in one of Group E’s two final 2015 Nations Cup qualifying games.

With one game left, Ghana top Group E standings with eight points; with Uganda and Guinea on seven. The Cranes, however, boast a better goal difference. Togo are bottom with six.

A Uganda draw, without caring about what happens between Ghana and Togo in Tamale, will deliver Cranes to the Promised Land since the East Africans have a better head-to-head with Ghana and Guinea.

Geoffrey Massa scored a brace in Uganda’s 2-0 first leg victory over Guinea but Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic knows they will have to do it the hard way at Casablanca’s Complexe Mohammed in Morocco.

“For us qualifying for Africa Cup of Nations is a dream. It is our driving force,” said Micho ahead of the encounter, adding, “It will be tough against Guinea but I strong belief in my players.”

Micho’s counterpart Michel Dussuyer, whose Guinea side effortlessly saw off Togo 4-1 last Saturday, reckons the weekend exploits will count for nothing if they fail to beat Uganda. Only victory over the Cranes will suffice for the West Africans.

“I told them (his players) that victory in Togo is useless if it is not followed by a victory against Uganda,” he said.

Micho is expected to deploy just about the same starting X1 in the 1-0 win over Ghana at the weekend save for about three changes.

Dennis Onyango in goal, skipper Andy Mwesigwa, Savio Kabugo – scorer against Ghana, and Isaac Isinde completing the back four.

Godfrey Walusimbi is likely to replace Brian Majwega on the former’s return from suspension at leftback while Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito could start ahead of Farouq Miya alongside Tonny Mawejje and Khalid Aucho in a more solid centre of the park.

The Serb could also decide to be more offensive by instead dropping Aucho, who was an unused sub against Ghana, and starting Daniel Sserunkuma.

So impressive against Ghana when he replaced Yunus Ssentamu, the Gor Mahia striker could join Mike Sserumaga and Kizito Luwagga as the front three just behind lone striker Geoffrey Massa.

Guinea star-man Soumah Seydouba and Idrissa Sylla is where danger for Uganda is. The hat-trick hero against Togo and Sylla, scorer of the fourth, will sure trouble Isaac Isinde and Mwesigwa in defence.

Uganda probable X1 (4-5-1)

Dennis Onyango, Godfrey Walusimbi, Andy Mwesigwa (Captain), Savio Kabugo, Isaac Isinde, Tonny Mawejje, Geoffrey Kizito, Khalid Aucho, Luwagga Kizito, Mike Sserumaga, Geoffrey Massa

Substitutes: Robert Odongkara, Habib Kavuma, Martin Kizza, Farouq Miya, Brian Majwega, Robert Ssentongo, Daniel Sserunkuma

Guinea squad

Yattara Naby Moussa, Bangoura Ibrahima Sory, Dabo Amara, Keita Abdoul Aziz, Camara Fode, Cisse Abdoulaye, Diarra Mohammed Lamine, Sankoh Baissama Mohammed, Zayatte Kamil, Conte Ibrahima Sory, Fafana Boubacar, Keita Naby, Laudel Guy Lucien Michel, Bangoura Al Hassane, Camara Aboubacar Demba, Soumah Seydouba, Traore Ibrahima, Bangoura Ismael

2015 NATIONS CUP QUALIFIERS

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, Group E

Guinea vs Uganda, SS7, (4pm Morocco, 7pm EA)

Complexe Mohammed, Casablanca

Ghana vs Togo, SS5, 7pm

Tamale

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