Africa Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Wasswa wishes father was alive

Uganda's goalkeeper Denis Onyango saves in front of DR Congo's Cedric Bakambu and Uganda's Hassan Masanda Wasswa during the African Cup of Nations group A soccer match between DR Congo and Uganda at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The current generation of Uganda Cranes players is on the verge of writing their own history if they can qualify for the knock stage of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations.

And what a time to be a live by many who have read and heard stories about 1978 when the Cranes lost 2-0 to host Ghana in a Nations Cup final.

Hassan Wasswa Mawanda failed to hold back tears when the final whistle was blown after Uganda’s one all draw with Zimbabwe at Cairo International Stadium.

“This was a time I was thinking of my parents,” Wasswa told, before adding.

“They always wanted to see us get out of the group stages, my father loved watching me play and mother too so I thought about them and I wished they were here to see me do what I do best for the country.”

“This is something that always drives me, they always encouraged to give my best and never give up and that’s what we thrive on as a team,” he added.

Wasswa’s father Hassan Biruma Mawanda, a former Ugandan international passed away on December 10th, 2017 after a long illness.

The ‘Super-sub’ like he was known in his hey never had a chance to play at the Nations Cup but his son has been two already, and going to the next stage is 90 minutes away.

“We have 80% chance to qualify out of the group, we are focussed and I know we shall qualify,” Wasswa said before adding.

“A very crucial game (Egypt), because we need maximum points, though they are at home and have quality players, if we maintain those top players, we shall get what we need.”

Wasswa might put Uganda’s chances of advancing at 80% especially since they will play against an Egyptian side that has already advanced, but it’s far from being over.

Zimbabwe on one point take on DR Congo with a win for Zimbabwe putting Uganda in a tight spot especially if they fail to get the needed draw against Egypt on June 30th.

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