Uganda Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre at the Setsoto Stadium, Maseru Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

Frenchman Sebastien Desabre is on the verge of making history by guiding Uganda Cranes to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final tournament in Cameroon.

Uganda Cranes’ two back to back victories against Southern Africa country Lesotho elevated the CECAFA giants aloft the group L table standings with 10 points, four ahead of second placed Tanzania (five points) and six better of West Africans Cape Verde, while Lesotho is bottom with merely two.

Typically diligent, resourceful and very strict, Desabre has master minded two important wins that are basically a turning point to Uganda Cranes’ campaign following a disappointing goal-less draw with rivals Tanzania last month.

He remains optimistic that Uganda Cranes will make the grade;

We have to keep focused and determined to win the next two matches. These matches are special to us because we need to top the group. I am very happy for my players who have worked hard since I took over. This is good attitude and motivation from FUFA alongside the sponsors, media and fans.

On the match day tactics away at the Setsoto stadium in Maseru, the Desabre technical team working alongside assistant Mathias Lule and Fred Kajoba (goalkeeping coach), was spot on.

[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes’ goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba with trainer Antonio D’Jerome Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

They called for three changes to the team that won 3-0 in Kampala, relegating Moses Waiswa, Edrisa Lubega and Joseph Benson Ochaya to the bench.

In came Dennis Iguma, shifted from the back to play with Khalid Aucho in central midfield, Patrick Henry Kaddu leading the line with Faruku Miya, Murushid Jjuuko to partner Hassan Wasswa Mawanda at center back and Allan “Dancing Rasta” Kateregga in left attack at the expense of Ochaya.

Desabre says the team needed fresh steam and blood after the 3-0 win three days ago;

We needed fresh legs like Allan Kateregga, Jjuuko and Kaddu. These changed our game around. Kateregga provided the width and pace from the left wing, Kaddu as a forward to run down the central defence, Jjuuko returned to the central defence and Iguma stabilized the midfield.

[/media-credit] Sebastien Desabre gestures to the players to calm down during the first leg against Lesotho at Namboole Stadium Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] The Uganda Cranes Lineup that started against Lesotho Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

Kateregga, a left footed winger playing at Ajax Cape Town was a thorn in the flesh of the opposition especially in the opening quarter of the game.

In fact, Kateregga created for Miya the opener and would have scored a goal of his own had it not been a goal-line clearance by the defender.

Later, Kateregga paved way for Egyptian based Isaac Muleme before Miya came off for Moses Waiswa and Kaddu was rested for the fresh legs of SV Ried striker Edrisa “Torres” Lubega.

Born in Valence city, France, Desabre has quite coached a number of North African clubs to include ES Tunis (Tunisia), JS Saoura (Algeria), Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and lately Ismaily in Egypt.

He has also coached in West Africa at ASEC Mimosas (Cote D’Ivoire) and CS Garoua (Cameroon),  in Southern African at Clube Recreativo Desportivo Libolo (Angola) as well as Dubai Club (United Arab Emirates).

[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes players thank the fans after the game in Maseru Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

So, far, Desabre has handled the Uganda Cranes in 12 games since taking over on 28th December 2017 from Serbian tactician Sredojevic Micho.

For a quick reminder, Micho was still the head coach when Uganda Cranes won 1-0 away at Cape Verde with Zambian based veteran striker Geofrey Sserunkuma scoring the lone goal on that chilly evening in Praia city.

Desabre has two more games of his own at home against Cape Verde and away to Tanzania in the return leg of the East African derby.

Uganda Cranes Games under Desabre:

  • 16th October 2018: Lesotho Likuena 0-2 Uganda Cranes (Group L AFCON 2019 qualifier)
  • 13th October 2018: Uganda Cranes 3-0 Lesotho Likuena (Group L AFCON 2019 Qualifier)
  • 8th September 2018: Uganda Cranes 0-0 Tanzania Taifa Stars (Group L AFCON 2019 Qualifier)
  • 2nd June 2018: Niger 2-1 Uganda Cranes (International Friendly Match)
  • 30th May 2018: Central African Republic 1-0 Uganda (International Friendly Match)
  • 27th March 2018: Uganda Cranes 0-0 Malawi (International Friendly Match)
  • 24th March 2018: Uganda Cranes 3-1 Sao Tome and Principe (International Friendly Match)
  • 22nd January 2018: Uganda Cranes 0-0 Ivory Coast (CHAN 2018)
  • 18th January 2018: Uganda Cranes 0-1 Namibia (CHAN 2018)
  • 14th January 2018: Zambia 3-1 Uganda (CHAN 2018)
  • 10th January 2018: Uganda Cranes 0-1 Congo (International Friendly Match)
  • 6th January 2018: Uganda Cranes 1-1 Guinea (International Friendly Match)
[/media-credit] More Uganda Cranes fans in Lesotho join in jubilation | 2019 AFCON Qualifiers Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

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

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