For starters, Uganda Cranes qualifying for the 2014 World cup finals in Brazil has never crossed the minds of many Ugandans but in football, anything is possible. However, miracles can’t just happen but you have to fight for decent results in order to make it to Rio 2014.
And picking decent results must start this weekend when the Cranes take on Liberia’s Lone Stars at the Samuel Kanyan Doe Complex in Liberia in a group J qualifier. In my opinion, this is a game they must win if they are to keep the World Cup dream alive.
Going into this game, Cranes lie second on two points from as many games having drawn with Angola away and at home to Senegal. Only the Lions of Teranga are above Bobby Williamson’s charges on four points while Angola (2pts) and Liberia (1pt) are third and fourth respectively.
With Senegal favourites to beat Angola in the other group J encounter, a win for Cranes against Liberia is a must as failure to beat the Lone Stars will widen the gap between them and 2002 World Cup quarterfinalists.
“It’s the game we must win if we are to stay on track for Brazil 2014”, said defender Henry Kalungi. Failure to pick maximum points will mean Uganda’s next fixtures in the campaign are just for formality.
HOW CRANES CAN KEEP THEIR DREAMS ALIVE:
Pick maximum points against Liberia (home and away) and also beat Angola at Namboole. That implies 11 points for the Cranes and in case Senegal also collects maximum points from their fixtures, it leaves them topping the group on 13 points thus leaving the last fixture between first and second (Senegal Vs Uganda) in Guinea Conakry; a neutral ground to decide who qualifies for round 2.
EXPLAINING THE 2014 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING PROCEDURE FOR AFRICA:
There are 10 groups each with four nations. The group leaders at the end of the fixtures will be drawn into another draw in which each will get an opponent to face off in a home and way tie. The five winners of each encounter will then automatically qualify for Brazil 2014.
Can the Cranes qualify for their maiden World Cup finals?