Pride at stake in Congo

Whereas the result of Uganda's World Cup qualifier against Congo in Brazzaville is of little significance, there is a lot at stake for the coaching team and fringe players, writes MOSES MUGALU.

Cranes coach Moses Basena has one eye on the Fufa committee vetting the incoming Cranes coach and will be out to make an impression in the sixth competitive game in charge since taking over from Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic in August.

Basena saw off Rwanda 3-2 on aggregate in the last round of the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier before defeating Egypt 1-0 at home in this World Cup qualification campaign.

Cranes midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba will have his chance to showcase, as he did here in a contest for the ball against Ghana's Daniel Amartey last month

A reverse 0-1 defeat by the Pharaohs and the recent goalless draw with Ghana ended Uganda’s faint hopes of qualifying to Russia 2018.

Basena may already be privy to the notion that this is most likely his last competitive match as Cranes head coach and he would like to bow out with a bang.

What is now left for him is to conjure up a win and improve his chances in the eyes of the vetting committee given that Fufa set November 15 to announce the new Cranes head coach.

All indications point to a foreign coach with Basena most likely to be the assistant. Meanwhile, it is not just Basena feeling the pressure. Several players on the travelling contingent are out to make an impression ahead of the forthcoming Chan tournament due in January in Morocco.

Basena called up just eight foreign-based players for this game and, therefore, it offers Uganda Premier League stars a chance to impress on the big stage.

Top among them is KCCA striker Derrick Nsibambi, who is out to break his duck in senior Cranes colours.

On the other hand, there is the little issue of ranking to concern the technical bench. The Cranes need the result to boost their coefficient ahead of any qualification draw for major tournaments. Caf, the continent’s football body, seeds and groups nations depending on their performance in recent qualifiers.

Congo have lost both home matches to Egypt and Ghana and there is every reason to believe The Cranes can also pull off the trick in Brazzaville.  

2018 World Cup qualifier
Congo v Uganda
Ghana v Egypt - SS3

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