Uganda Cranes’ coach Sebastien Desabre gave the nation an insight on how the side will lineup on June 22nd at their opening game of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations Group A tie against DR Congo.
Farouk Miya scored the all-important goal as the Cranes defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, in their last warm-up game before they depart for Egypt. The last time they met Ivory Coast won 3-0, both teams were preparing for the 2017 AFCON finals.
Skipper Denis Onyango started in goal, just like against Turkmenistan, the back four was unchanged, Bevis Mugabi and Godfrey played at the right and left flanks respectively.
It was Hassan Wasswa and Murushid Juuko who played at the heart of defence as Khalid Aucho and Mike Azira protecting the back four.
Patrick Kaddu led the line and behind him he had Farouk Miya, Abdu Lumala and Emmanuel Okwi as the men supposed to ask Ivory Coast the questions.
The Cranes struggled to cope up with Ivory Coast’s physicality through the game but managed to win set pieces in sensitive areas much they weren’t utilized.
In the 38th minute, Wasswa was pulled in the forbidden area and Miya capitalized with a well taken penalty to give Cranes a halftime lead.
Kaddu almost got onto the score sheet off Lumala’s well weighed cross but the goalkeeper was up to the task.
Lumala himself on a number of occasions put the defence of the 2015 champions on tenterhook every time he gained possession but probably the stage was too overwhelming for him on a number of occasions. He was replaced by Isaac Muleme after 64 minutes.
Allan Kyambadde replaced Kaddu at the start of the second half, Okwi was now leading the line and it’s the former who won a free kick in after 51 minutes.
Miya stepped up and his effort was another Uganda should have capitalized on but it was saved by the keeper, Aucho followed up but his right foot betrayed him.
Cranes defence looked timid every time Ivory Coast ventured forward but Onyango was on hand to save their blushes.
On the other hand, it was Okwi who was forcing the best out of the opposition defence but little could be done to break them again.
Ivory Coast introduced Wilfred Zaha and Wilfred Bonny in the last 15 minutes, the Cranes’ defense should be proud of themselves for passing that test too.
At the end of the day, not the performance Desabre would have to see to see the Cranes put up but 1-0 is a result he will embrace ahead of the Nations Cup.
Cranes Starting XI: Denis Onyango, Bevis Mugabi, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murushid Jjuuko (Ronald Ddungu Mukiibi ), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Mike Azira ( Taddeo Lwanga ), Faruku Miya, Abdul Lumala (Isaac Muleme), Khalid Aucho, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi , Patrick Henry Kaddu (Allan Kyambadde)
Unused Substitutes: Jamal Salim, Robert Odongkara, Nico Wakiro Wadada, Joseph Ochaya, Timothy Denis Awanyi, Allan Kateregga, William Kizito Luwagga, , Derrick Nsibambi