By Shafic Kiyaga
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is unhappy with Murushid Juuko’s red card against Mali, which he says was unnecessary, and insisted that the defender has been made aware of its consequences.
Juuko was shown a direct red card for an elbow on forward Boubakar Kouyate in the 64th minute, but the Cranes were able to hold on for a goalless draw.
Speaking after the game, Micho blamed Juuko for his yellow card in the first half which was down to poor awareness and positioning, while the incident that led to the second yellow card was completely unnecessary.
“It was totally unnecessary because he had a first half yellow card,” Micho was quoted by Football256, adding; “At halftime we talked to him about self-control because these kinds of games command higher tactical demand.”
“The yellow card (in the first half) was because of poor awareness and positioning, but the second was completely unnecessary.”
“He (Juuko) knows he has to control his head but we have talked to him and he knows it cost us in some aspects,” he added.
Despite being less than impressed with several aspects of Uganda’s performance in both their two qualifiers, Micho stressed that the game came at a very difficult time with interruptions due to COVID-19.
Currently, Uganda is under a travel red flag by many countries given the health situation in the country and the risk posed by the coronavirus prevalence in the country.
A number of regular Cranes players based abroad could not travel back as they would require extended periods of quarantine in case they were to travel back to their clubs after the game.
“These are no excuses, but I believe we would have been different if all the players had come,” Micho explained.
“Taddeo Lwanga came but was injured, Timothy Awany, Edrisa Lubega, Bevis Mugabi and others will be available in October and it will be a different situation.”
“Against Kenya and Mali who had very good preparations, I think the boys tried to give a good show even though we lacked cohesion,” he continued.
The Cranes pick up their second draw in the qualifiers and stay third in group E on two points, but are yet to score a goal in the qualifiers. Mali stays top of the group on four points.
Uganda resumes its qualification campaign with a back-to-back clash against Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars in October.