AFCON 2017 QUALIFIERS:

26th March 2016 (First Leg)

Nations Cup qualifier

Burkina Faso v Uganda Cranes – Stade Du 4 Août 1983, Ouagadougou

29th March 2016 (Return Leg)

Uganda Cranes v Burkina Faso – Nelson Mandela National Stadium, Kampala

Uganda Cranes is set to play West African opposition, Burkina Faso in the two countries’ fifth meeting in competitive football at the end of March 2016.

The two countries will meet in a double header of the AFCON 2017 qualifiers in Ouagadougou and Kampala on the 26th and 29th March 2016 respectively as confirmed by hosting federation.

The first match is away in the land-locked West African nation before the return leg, three days later at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium, under floodlights.

Preparations:

Since returning from an unsuccessful CHAN championship, Uganda has largely concentrated on the domestic league as majority of the foreign based players continue with their business in the respective countries.

Team skipper, Geofrey Massa, who has been sidelined for over a month has recovered at the most crucial timing as he is ready to lead the Cranes’ troops away and at home.

On the other hand, Burkina Faso, who missed CHAN 2016 played and lost 2-0 in an international build up to Egypt at the end of February 2016, their last build up to the match.

Man of the match, midfielder Abdallah El-Said scored twice to give the Pharoahs, coached by Hector Cuper the morale boosting victory at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria, ahead of their own match against Nigeria.

It should be noted perhaps, the Stallions used largely home based players in the build up match.

Previous Meetings:

Either country has won once and drew twice in the last four competitive head to head encounters.

The last time Uganda Cranes traveled to Burkina Faso is now barely 11 years ago when the home team won 2-0 on the day in the World Cup qualifier on 4th September 2004.

The second meeting was on the independence eve on 8th October 2005 in Kampala, ending 2 all.

On August 29th 2006, Uganda hosted Burkina Faso in an international build up and both countries shared the spoils in a goal-less draw.

Uganda’s only victory over the West Africans was on 12th January 2014, winning 2-1 in South Africa during the CHAN 2014 finals.

Cranes head coach, Milutin Sredojevic is expected to address the media at FUFA House on Wednesday, 2nd March 2016 and highlight about the preparations ahead of the crucial two matches.

Uganda leads group D with six points.

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

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