Despite falling to Madagascar in the midweek friendly, The Cranes cannot afford to lose to Ghana in a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier tomorrow, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.
The Cranes 1-2 loss to Madagascar in the international friendly match on Wednesday at the StarTimes stadium was certainly not in the script. It is a tie that had been lined up for The Cranes to do some shooting practice and improve their efficiency in front of goal. Instead it left The Cranes with work to do.
“We had some decent scoring chances, which we did not put away. At the end of the day, Madagascar punished us for lacking concentration,” Cranes coach Moses Basena said, adding that they must correct the errors to stand a chance against Ghana.
In the reverse fixture last October, The Cranes and Ghana Black Stars shared the spoils in a goalless draw. Yet, with Ghana walloping Congo-Brazzaville 5-1 in their last game away from home, The Cranes’ defence must be on red alert.
The Black Stars are on five points, two and four behind Uganda and Egypt respectively. Newcastle winger Christian Atsu was ruled out due to injury but Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who scored a brace against Congo, as did Red Star Belgrade’s forward Richmond Boakye are available. This season, Boakye, 24, has scored 11 goals in 17 games for Red Star.
However, Basena has an array of goal-scoring prowess in Milton Karisa, Edirisa Lubega, Derrick Nsibambi, Emmanuel Okwi, Geoffrey Sserunkuma and Nelson Ssenkatuka at his disposal for The Cranes to outscore Ghana.
Of the aforementioned, Sserunkuma is enjoying a rich vein of form, which has seen him plunder goals at club level both domestically and internationally in Caf competitions this year.
Basena appears to have found replacements for the suspended Murushid Jjuuko and Khalid Aucho in Savio Kabugo and Tonny Mawejje respectively. On the other hand, he will have to decide on midfielder Farouk Miya, who looked off-colour in Wednesday’s friendly match against Madagascar.
Meanwhile, the other group fixture between Egypt and Congo-Brazzaville will be played 24 hours after The Cranes and Ghana slug it out, which should put the Pharaohs in a position of knowing what to do in their attempt to seal qualification.
Uganda v Ghana
Shs 30,000 Stands
Shs 70,000 Pavillion
Shs 150,000 VIP
C. Brazzaville v Uganda