By Austin Oduor Otieno,
Uganda cranes takes on the Zebras of Botswana in an AFCON 2017 qualifier match today at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Namboole,Kampala.
The Cranes will be seeking a fine start and hope to qualify for Africa’s prestigious tournament having missed the previous two editions by a whisker as the last time the Cranes qualified for the tournament was in 1978 where they lost 2-0 to Ghana in the finals.
Statistics however favour the hosts as they have won all the seven opening matches of the previous AFCON qualifiers and have only lost once in as many matches at Namboole.
Cranes received a massive boost with the arrival of Portugal based William Kizito Luwagga who recently signed for a top tier side.With no injury worries in the Cranes camp,Coach Micho will have plenty to choose from his new young side.
Only Denis Onyango and influential Godfrey Massa were part of the previous team that failed to make it to the finals in the two previous occassions drawing with Kenya and losing Zambia in the spot kicks
Having overlooked players like Tony Mawejje,Geoffrey Kizito,Moses Oloya,Emmanuel Okwi and Martin Kiiza,the coach will have to prove that his relatively young squad that drew 1-1 with Gambia a week ago can continue with the impressive home record.Captain Andrew Mwesigwa is however suspended for the clash and Geoffrey Massa will be the captain.
Coach Micho is expected to start Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango between the posts with Denis Iguma and Gor Mahia’s Godfrey Walusimbi in the defense.Richard Kasagga and Isaac Isinde will form a new central defensive partnership with Herman Wasswa returning to pair Gor Mahia’s midfield engine Khalid Aucho in the middle.
Uganda’s Azam Premier League MVP Farouk Miya of Vipers SC is expected to partner captain Geoffrey Massa who equalled Obua’s record of 11 goals in the qualifiers upfront
Uganda’s probable Line up
William Luwagga Kizito
Their Saturday afternoon opponents the Zebra’s on their part are confident of causing a major upset in Kampala and are on buoyant mood ahead of the clash.
The Zebra’s arrived in Kampala on wednesday without head coach David Butler who later linked up with the team.
the team which last featured in the 2012 edition in South Africa would want to make a repeat of this.
The Botswana team comprises
Botswana Full Squad:
Goal Keepers : Dambe Kabelo, Phoko
Goitseone and Mwampule Masule
Defenders: Sosome Tebogo, Edwin
Olerille, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Tapiwa
Gadibolae, Katlego Koobake, Obonye
Moswate, Obulle Nicenga
Midfielders : Kabelo Seakanyeng,
Segolame Boy, Ofentse Nato, Mpho
Kgaswane, Joel Mogorosi, Mogakolodi
Ngele, Lopang Mosige
Strikers: Hendrick Moyo, Omaatla
Kebatho, Onkabetse Makgantai and
Head Coach: Peter Butler
The match will kick off at 4 pm EAT or 3 pm Botswana time
venue Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Namboole,Kampala
charges 20,000,50,000 and 120,000 all in Ugandan Shillings with a free Cranes jersey for the purchase of 120,000 ticket
All Azam Premier league players will gain free entry after FUFA in collaboration wirh Azam TV paid for their tickets
The match will be live on Azam Tv