KAMPALA- Uganda and Tanzania boast of the meanest defences in Group L after two 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches, each having conceded just once.
The other opponents; Cape Verde and Lesotho, have each conceded two apiece. Yet the so called minnows of Lesotho, who are level on two points with Tanzania - with seeded Cape Verde at the bottom thanks to the 1-0 home defeat to Uganda last year, have scored the most goals. They have scored twice. Uganda, Cape Verde and Tanzania have each struggled in front of goal, the three combing for as many goals between them.
On Saturday, the Cranes welcome the group’s leading scorers, who also arrive to one of the more solid defences, especially at home. But for coach Sebastien Desabre and Cranes, the importance of a victory over Lesotho cannot be overstated.
The Cranes are yet to not only to win at home, having started with a goalless draw against Tanzania early last month; they are yet to treat their adoring fans with a goal.
This leaves experienced Emmanuel Okwi Okwi, budding Patrick Kaddu, Derrick Nsibambi and Edrisa Lubega, with the supporting cast of Faruku Miya, Moses Waiswa and Joseph Ochaya with a lot of responsibility on their hands
“When we come out for training, we always give more than 100%,” said Lubega, the SV Ried (Austria) striker who is trying to break through. “It is this same spirit that we want to display in the matches. We shall go for the all attack strategy against Lesotho and personally I am ready to utilise the chances once granted the opportunity.’
Kaddu, the KCCA striker, is the other one who is enjoying his time at club level, and has lately fallen firmly into Desabre’s plans.
“My role as a striker is to score goals and to help my team win,” Kaddu told this newspaper, “We will all need to give our all because we badly need to win on Saturday.”
Uganda’s only goal was scored in Cape Verde last year, then under the tutelage of current Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic.
Buildcon striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma, with KCCA at the time, scored the goal. He is not in the squad for this. Uganda lead Group L on four points after two matches, with Tanzania and Lesotho tied on two.
The top teams in 12 groups will automatically qualify for the finals in Cameroon. Elsewhere, Fufa will officially unveil Cranes and Crested Cranes (ladies national team) new jerseys today.
NATIONS CUP 2019 QUALIFIERS
Saturday: Uganda vs. Lesotho
October 16: Lesotho vs. Uganda
November 16: Uganda vs. Cape Verde
March 22, 2019:
Tanzania vs. Uganda