2015 AFCON Qualifiers
Uganda Vs Togo
Predicting a winner of a major sporting contest is a precarious business for a journalist at the best time. We (Journalists) are trained to report the facts, not interpret tea leaves or star into a crystal ball.
But any statistician will tell that one of the main reasons the best team doesn’t always win in football is because the sport is a relatively low scoring one compared to, say, basketball or rugby.
Kawowo Sports’ Michael Bryson Mugote brings you ten reasons why he thinks Uganda will defeat Togo tomorrow at Nambole stadium.
1. EARLY PREPARATIONS
Unlike Togo who fully joined camp mid this week, the Uganda Cranes for the second time began preparations for tomorrow’s game early enough.
Coach Micho Sredejevic paraded a strong squad that won Northern selected side 5-0 in the ‘Cranes Na-mutima campaign’ match played in Gulu district a fortnight ago. The game did not only help Micho properly asses local based players but also kept his team in the wining mood.
Uganda Cranes also had friendly games against Uganda Premier League clubs which it won all. The early and better preparations will to a great extent dictate Cranes victory tomorrow.
2. HOME ADVANTAGE
Like any other team, Uganda goes into tomorrow’s tie with a home advantage tag. The cranes will indeed feel at home and playing advantageously on own field.
Some people believe home teams win since their crowds boost players’ performances; while other say home teams win because the rigors of travel hurt the visitors and the home teams benefit from a kinder, gentle, schedule. Uganda Cranes, there you are.
3. LOCAL UNBEATEN RUN
Uganda is expected to keep fire burning by extending the 10 year unbeaten run at own turf, Namboole stadium. Since the 1-0 loss to South Africa, Uganda has on few occasions failed to score at the gigantic arena.
4. TOGO DOUBLE LOSS
Togo is yet to secure a win in this race. Losing 2-1 and 2-3 against Guinea and Ghana respectively, gives Uganda hope that the West African nation is beatable, despite the fact that they can’t fail to score.
The double loss also exposed some deficiencies in their usually clinical finishing giving chance to Micho Sredejevic’s charges.
5. GEOFFREY MASSA: AMONG THE TOP SCORER
Uganda is blessed to be having the AFCON’s top scorer, Geoffrey Massa. The forward who has scored three goals is expected to live up to the hype and also keep Togo defense at bay.
With so much time on his side, Massa’s potential is boundless and is likely to be among the best forward in the race which fact I think runs in his mind before tomorrow’s kick off time.
6. DESIRE TO END THE 36 YEAR DROUGHT
Uganda has spent over three decades without featuring in the AFCON finals. The player and many excited natives feel it’s time to align for the most glorious triumph. To bring out this more, the cranes’ players have so far staged class football when deafening Mauritania, Madagascar, Guinea and in the dramatic 1-1 draw games.
The Cranes’ show clearly indicates that this time they are more than determined to put an end to a string of over 30 years of non-qualification for the finals of the arguably biggest football tournament on the continent.
7. INJURE FREE CRANES CAMP.
Uganda’s prior injuries of Brian Majwega and Emmanuel Okwi are no longer worrying after the duo recovered early enough. This absolutely boosted the Cranes’ camp and with other players being fully fit, puts the Cranes in shape to claim three points over Togo.
8. UGANDA’S GOOD SCORING RATE
Uganda has scored more goals compared to Togo in the on going AFCON campaign. Uganda has founded the back of the net eight times more than Togo which has only scored three times.
9. PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS’ GREAT PERFORMANCE OVER THE WEEKEND
Uganda’s professional players had a great weekend with their respective clubs. Geofrey Ssernkuuma scored a hat-trick for Gor Mahia, Kizito Luwaga score twice in Sporting Covilha’s 4-2 win; Massa once in Pretoria University’s 2-1 loss, Yunus ssentamu also netted one foe Vitae while Tony Mawejje and Andrew Mwesigwa played full time for Valur and FC Ordabacy respectively. These and other professionals in Cranes’ camp are expected to paste the similar performance in tomorrow’s tie.
Over 45,200 Ugandans are likely to be at Namboole stadium backing their team go passed the West Africans, and I predict a 2-1 win for Uganda.
For God and my country