AFCON 2021 qualifiers:
Burkina Faso vs Uganda
10pm @ Stade du 4 Août 1983, Ouagadougou
Uganda will kick off the 2021 African Nations Cup journey later today, Wednesday when they play against Burkina Faso in their group B opening game at the Stade du 4 Août 1983 in Ouagadougou.
The Cranes team that flew to the Burkina Faso capital on Tuesday morning aboard a chartered Uganda Airline flight will be embarking on a journey that would see them qualify for the AFCON finals for the third time in a row.
The game will also be the first competitive one for newly appointed Irishman Johnathan McKinstry, as the Cranes head coach.
The Irishman recently said he wants the team to maximize its potential including winning as many away games as possible and the game against the Stallions is the first test to his words.
“We have done the best preparations possible before the game and now it is up to the players to play to their maximum for a good opportunity,”McKinstry said ahead of the game.
Faruku Miya is also promising the team will ensure they fire on all cylinders as they play against Burkina Faso.
“We trained well and we promise to work as a team to bring home a good result,”Miya roared.
Miya key star
Faruku Miya is expected to be the key man as the Cranes battle against the Stallions on Wednesday evening in Ouagadougou.
His fine form at new club Kanyaspor that he joined in August will greatly help Cranes as they try to steer past the Burkinabes on Wednesday.
However, experienced goalkeeper cum skipper Denis Onyango will also be a key figure as Uganda seeks to have a good start to the 2021 African Nations Cup qualifiers with an away game.
Uganda was pitted against Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan in group B and will be seeking to have a third consecutive AFCON qualification after making shows at the 2017 and 2019 finals.
Head to head
Burkina Faso and Uganda have faced off five times and of these, today’s hosts have won twice in 2004 and last year both games in Ouagadougou.
The only time Uganda beat Burkina Faso came in January 2014 at Namboole.
The Cranes were in the same group with Burkina Faso when Uganda ended a four-decade absence ahead of the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon but during the qualifiers, the East African side lost 1-0 in Ouagadougou whereas the game in Kampala ended 0-0.
Uganda hopes to improve on this record if McKinstry’s words are to go by.
Cranes full squad
Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns,South Africa), Robert Odongkara (Horoya AC, Guinea), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda).
Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell, Scotland), Murushid Jjuuko (Wydad Casablanca, Morocco), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo).
Michael Azira (Chicago Fire, USA), Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa, Egypt), Tadeo Lwanga (Tanta, Egypt), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Okello (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt).
Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Patrick Henry Kaddu (RS Berkane, Morocco), Alexis Bbakka (Carlstad United BK, Sweden), Fahad Bayo (Vipers, Uganda), Farouk Miya (Konyaspor, Turkey), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt), William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karaganda, Kazahstan)
Burkina Faso squad
Goalkeepers: Farid Steeve (Majestic, Burkina Faso) Ben Idriss Traore (AS Sonabel, Burkina Faso), Aboubacar Sawadogo (As Douanes, Burkina Faso)
Defenders: Issoufou Dayo (RS Berkane, Morocco), Edmond Fayçal Tapsoba (Guimaraes, Portugal), Dylan Ouédraogo (OH Louvain, Belgium), Abas Ouedraogo (Salitas), Soumaïla Ouattara (Rahimo FC), Steeve Yago (Caen, France), Yacouba Coulibaly (Le Havre, France), Issa Kaboré (Mechelen, Belgium)
Midfielders: Adama Guira (Guangzhou R & F, China), Charles Kaboré (Dynamo Moscow, Russia), Bryan Dabo (Fiorentina, Italy), Bertrand Traoré (Lyon, France), Cyrille Bayala (AC Ajaccio, France), Dramane Nikiema (Horoya AC , Guinea), Alain Traore (RS Berkane, Morocco), Zakaria Sanogo (FC Ararat, Armenia)
Forwards: Lassina Traoré (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Aristide Bancé (Horoya AC, Guinea), Jonathan Pitroipa (Paris FC, France), Eric Traore (Pyramid, Egypt)