AFCON 2021 Qualifiers
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Uganda vs Malawi
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole @4pm
New Uganda Cranes coach, Johnathan McKinstry will for the first time be in the dugout at Namboole as the national team plays Malawi in the second group B game in the 2021 African Nations Cup qualifiers on Sunday afternoon.
The Irishman took over the job, barely two months ago and the Flames game will be his first at home but it will also mark a year since Cranes qualified for the 2019 AFCON finals, courtesy of a Patrick Kaddu goal.
A lot will, therefore, be at stake for the gaffer who will be looking for a first win in a competitive game but also the team that will also be looking for triumph at the pitch that saw them qualify for a second consecutive final, a year ago.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference on Saturday, the Irishman said the game on Sunday will be one to look out for as he embarks on a journey to return Uganda to AFCON.
“We shall do what is required to get the points we need. It will be a difficult challenge against Malawi. It will be a tough encounter but we are ready for the best game,”McKinstry said.
“I have been looking forward to my first game in Uganda. I expect and electric stadium. There is pressure to perform and we like it.”
Cranes captain, Dennis Onyango said the boys are hungry for the maximum points as they host Malawi.
“The players are hungry for success. Even Messi and Ronaldo who are the best players are still hungry for more, the same is true with us,”Onyango said.
He admitted that despite getting a point off Burkina Faso away from home, it will be a different scenario as they face Malawi later today.
“That is now behind us. The focus is on Malawi. We need more and we are hungrier than before.”
The Malawian Flames coach, Meck Mwase is not carried away and thinks his team is more than ready for the challenge ahead of them.
“We are ready for the game against Uganda,” he said.
Head to head
Uganda and Malawi have in the past faced off five times and today’s visitors have won twice, drawn twice and surprisingly, Uganda has won only one game against the Flames.
The last game was a friendly in 2018 that ended in a goalless draw after 90 minutes.
The Cranes will, however, miss the services of Abdu Lumala and Alexis Bakka who played in the game against Burkina Faso but had to return back home to complete certain documents regarding their duo citizenship.