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Uganda Cranes’ Allan Okello (L) in action during a previous qualifying match

Uganda Cranes’ Allan Okello (L) in action during a previous qualifying match

The Uganda Cranes are on the brink of qualifying for their fifth Africa Nations Championship (Chan) tournament when they meet Burundi for the second leg of their qualifiers, this Saturday at the StarTimes stadium, Lugogo, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.

Coach Abdallah Mubiru will lead The Cranes for the last time this weekend following the recent appointment of Johnathan McKinstry as the substantive national team coach. The Cranes carry a comfortable 3-0 lead over Burundi, thanks to goals by Viane Sekajugo, Muzamiru Mutyaba and Musitafa Kizza during the first leg match in Bujumbura last month.

McKinstry decided to let Mubiru complete the 2020 Chan qualification campaign, which he started back in July away in Djibouti. Then, The Cranes beat Somalia 3-1 in the first leg, before completing the job with a 4-0 second leg hammering.

Mubiru is humbled by McKinstry’s gesture. “I must say that I am blessed to have had this opportunity to work with The Cranes. My club Police FC was not the best in the league, yet I was picked out of the lot of good local coaches,” he said.

Mubiru was named interim Cranes boss back in July, following the resignation of Frenchman Sebastien Desabre, who now handles Egyptian club side Pyramids FC.

Mubiru’s reign has been an eventful one; with the Cranes scoring 10 goals and conceding only once. And The Cranes are in the driving seat on their way to the 2020 Chan finals in Cameroon.

It could take a miracle for Burundi, who need a 4-0 win to eliminate The Cranes, but Mubiru has told his charges to play a cautious game on Saturday. Mubiru is preparing his team for an onslaught.

“I liked the way we managed the game away, very good defensive discipline. But this weekend, I want us to play a quicker game,” he said.

CHAN 2020 QUALIFIER RETURN LEG

Saturday,  Oct 19@4pm:

Uganda Cranes v Burundi

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