Uganda vs Ghana at Namboole,4pm
Today, all roads lead to Mandela National stadium, Namboole for the group E World Cup qualifying return leg game between Uganda and Ghana.
Going into today’s game, the Cranes will be looking at replicating the 2014 performance in which they beat their visitors in the African Nations Cup qualifiers, thanks to defender Savio Kabugo’s ninth minute header, off a Mike Sserumaga corner.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference on Friday, Kabugo was optimistic of a similar performance in case Cranes interim coach Moses Basena trusts him to be on duty for the team today.
“The entire team is in good shape and if I am given chance, I promise to score again,” he said.
Uganda needs nothing other than a win so as to keep within touching distance of group leaders Egypt who will visit Congo Brazaville in another group E encounter.
Basena told journalists that his team will try to ensure they don’t get the foot off the pedal in a bid to top the group, as this would be the only sure way to brighten Uganda’s chances of featuring at the world’s most prestigious football tournament in Russia next year.
“We have a duty that we must do well. We shall get solutions to any problems thrown at us so as to win the game.We need to win these last two games,”Basena says.
Cranes will miss the services of Khalid Aucho and Murshid Jjuuko but according to the coach, his team always plays as a unit and the absence of the two will be less felt.
However, Basena’s worry are the youngsters who have been summoned to the Black Stars team, in absence of the experienced players including the Ayew brothers, Asamoah Gyan,John Boye,Christian Atsu and Harrison Afful for the Cranes job.
“These young players are the biggest challenge we are to face. Such players always work so hard to impress the coach,” he said.
On the other side, Ghana tactician Kwesi Appiah will also try to avenge the 2014 defeat at Namboole as well as improve in his team’s performance after bagging only five points out of the possible twelve in the World Cup qualifiers.
His team first camped in Uganda’s neighbouring country Kenya for a number of days before flying to Kampala .
They will miss the services of captain Asamoah Gyan,John Boye,Christian Atsu,Andrew and Jordan Ayew, and Harrison Afful who didn’t travel with the squad.
“Uganda are at home playing with their fans behind them. My ambition will still be to win all my remaining games and qualify but its a tall order,”Appiah said.
Ghana have won seven times, lost three and drawn four times they have played Uganda including the 1978 Afcon finals
Uganda beat Ghana one nil in 2014 at Namboole following a one all first leg stalemate in Kumasi earlier in the 2015 Afcon qualifiers.
Last year, Ghana were held to a goalless draw by Uganda in the teams’ opening game of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Uganda have scored twice and conceded once in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers whereas Ghana have conceded four goals despite seeing the back of the net six times .