In Summary
  • Walking The Talk. For Interim coach Basena and his coaching team, which now compromises of legend Ibra Sekagya, there will never be a better opportunity to audition for the job in full capacity.
  • From what he has been saying this week, I get the impression that this is not lost on anyone.

By the time you read this, the result of Thursday’s game will be known and the Cranes will be on their way to Alexandria for the return fixture next week. So, I will speak for the two games.
To start with, we need to be sensible about our prospects. Our opponents strode into town on top of Group E and with history on their side. They were boasting of a 14-1 record against us and we needed to peel away from over half a century of embarrassing history, to uncover our only win against them which the boys did.
We went into these twin games having earned the right to be their immediate challengers. A result at home, something I never place beyond us, would put us in a good place going into the second leg.
For Moses Basena and his coaching team, which now compromises of legend Ibra Sekagya, there will never be a better opportunity to audition for the job in full capacity. From what he has been saying this week, I get the impression that this is not lost on anyone.
Before him is largely an already-made team. The defence and midfielders are selected by injuries and retirements.
However, the striking will be interesting to observe over these two legs.
You can bet Geoffrey Sserunkuma is always good for a goal, which would make him a logical first-choice here. Farouk Miya has been mute of late, but his credibility balance remains in black. It is Emmanuel Okwi I wonder about. He has rediscovered his magic and his return to the warm embrace of Simba FC must have boosted his confidence. He could be the dark horse that emerges to devastating effect.
Either way, old habits die hard and I see Basena sacrificing a second striker in the return leg for a five-man midfield, a formation very much relied upon during Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s days.
In the circumstances, this kind of caution is a sign of respect rather than fear. In any case, any of either Miya or Derrick Nsibambi can morph into attackers when necessary.
It is Muzamir Mutyaba though, that I long to see start ahead of the much showy Kizito Luwagga. There is always the possibility of stage fright, but his superior technique would make our transitions quicker and deny the Egyptians the kind of rhythm they use to kill off opponents.
And a firm start is exactly what we need to stand any chance over these two legs.
Otherwise the collective edginess of Ugandan fans could contribute in making the return-leg an inconvenience. Win at home and play away with freedom, I say.
Lastly, we ought to also take advantage of the knowledge that it isn’t in Egypt’s nature to sit back. They will attack and when they do, spaces will open for either of Miya or Sserunkuma. Like Basena said we will have opportunities just like they will.
Here is to hoping that we take ours over the two legs.
Who knows what will happen then? Good luck boys. Russia beckons.

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MBanturaki