CHAN 2016 Finals: Group D – Saturday, 23rd January 2016

Uganda  Vs Zambia – Umuganda Stadium – 6 p.m Rwanda Time (7 p.m Uganda)

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Uganda Cranes and Zambia Chipolopolo lock horns in the second group D match for either nations at the African Nations Championships (CHAN) on Saturday night at the Umuganda stadium in Rubavu.

The match comes in the wake of the opening group games on Tuesday where Zambia overcame a hard fighting Zimbabawe outfit 1-0 and Uganda played to a 2 all draw in the subsequent game.

The Cranes head coach, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic deeply feels the pain of approaching such a crucial fixture without two of the inspirational players – team captain, Faruku Miya (dislocated arm) and goal keeper, Isam Watenga (groin).

He has however tasked the remaining 21 players available for selection to show character for the do or die fixture.

It is a pain to miss two of your best players but I challenge the remaining players to rise to the occasion and prove the true character of playing at such a competitive tournament

The good new though is that hard working midfielder, Ivan Ntege returns after a one match suspension.

Ntege, one of the three players on the team who also played at the CHAN 2014 finals in South Africa (Watenga and Isaac Muleme are the others) comes with that needed experience expected to lift the rest of the teammates.

How the team is assembled against Zambia remains a question between Micho and the rest of the coaching team.

Goalkeeper, Mathias Kigonya who replaced Alitho early in the second half has a slight nod ahead of the untested Alitho.

With Ntege back, it is still a question of who between the offensive Muzamiru Mutyaba and the deep lying Timothy Awany to play along Kezironi Kizito.

Uganda needs a victory to enlighten their chances for a first ever quarterfinal berth at the CHAN tournament while Zambia only prays they secure the three points to progress to the knock out stage.

The team conducted their last training session on Friday morning at Rubavu.

Uganda Cranes players Available For Zambia:

Goalkeepers: James Alitho (Vipers S.C), Mathias Kigonya (Bright Stars F.C)

Defenders: Denis Okot (KCCA FC), Richard Kasagga Jjuuko (URA F.C), Joseph Nsubuga (Bright Stars), Isaac Muleme (SC Villa Jogoo), Hassan Wasswa Dazzo (KCCA FC), Timothy Awany (KCCA), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA F.C), Bernard Muwanga (Bright Stars FC),

Midfielders: Ivan Ntege (KCCA FC), Ambrose Kirya (SC Villa Jogoo), Keziron Kizito (Vipers), Mutyaba Muzamil (KCCA FC), Martin Kiiza (SC Villa Jogoo)

Strikers: Robert Ssentongo (URA), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (Lweza), Frank Kalanda (URA), Samson Ceasar Okhuti (KCCA FC), Edirisa Lubega (Proline Soccer Academy), Erisa Sekisambu (Vipers SC)

Injured: Ismail Watenga (Vipers F.C) and Faruku Miya (Vipers F.C)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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