In Summary
  • Permutations. One of Egypt, Uganda and Ghana can still qualify. Fate is on Uganda’s side because unlike Ghana whose last two games are versus opponents above them, or Egypt that must play Ghana away in their last game; we play Ghana next at home and a resigned Congo away.

Confirm Basena as head coach
After the ‘sudden’ departure of Micho Sredojevich in July, Fufa was always going to struggle with finding a replacement. But the only purpose that hesitation serves in such circumstances, is that of demonstrating incompetence.
Of course, there will be doubters at Mengo raising matters of experience. But examinations don’t come harder than two quick fire games against African kings Egypt and the qualification for Chan 2018 versus Rwanda. And Moses Basena and his team passed. So, Fufa cannot do worse by confirming Moses Basena as head coach. The decisiveness will sanitize Fufa’s image, send out the right message about their obligation to build local management capacity, and above all, lend us the stability needed to navigate our next two games and qualify.

Maintain the confidence
Before Tuesday night, we were the only team not to concede a goal in the qualifiers. We sit pretty on top of our Afcon 2019 group. And lest I forget, we are also on our way to our fourth straight Chan final in Kenya next year.
We have turned Namboole into a fortress again. And these days, our away form is no longer a matter of grave concern. We are riding this wave of confidence that we just brushed aside Cape Verde the other day in Praia, and went to Alexandra not hoping, but wanting to overturn the cart, and insisted for what was a jittery 90 minutes for the Egyptians.
Keeping this new-found confidence in our abilities will take us beyond Ghana at Namboole and Congo away. And after that, who knows!

Make home form count
Two years ago, we lost at home for the first time in almost a decade, and to Togo, who were easily the worst team of our Afcon 2015 qualifying group. As a lesson, never to take anything for granted, it served us right.
We have since moved on quickly in the rebuilding of fortress Namboole, and no one including Ghana our next opponents, have lived to tell the tale since. So, for us to even start dreaming of Russia, we must beat Ghana in October. Period.

Good old fate
Some people see it as the reliance on the stuff that is outside ones’ control and ironically, have gone on to give it one of the most scientific names ever-mathematics! Well, I say pulling out the calculator is a fact of life in a group as tight as ours, and nothing to be apologetic about. So here is the mathematics.
One of Egypt, Uganda and Ghana can still qualify. Fate is on Uganda’s side because unlike Ghana whose last two games are versus opponents above them, or Egypt that must play Ghana away in their last game; we play Ghana next at home and a resigned Congo away in our last game.
So, I say keep focused, win games, pray for Congo and make our own luck. Then wait for destiny to carry us to lands we have never been.
Come on you Cranes! Russia 2018 beckons for those who believe.

banturakim@gmail.com