Sserunkuma scored the first and third goals Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Juma Balinya (left) is expected to lead the Uganda Cranes front line alongside Daniel Sserunkuma Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

COSAFA 2019:

Saturday, 1st June:

  • 1st Quarter final: Lesotho Likuena Vs Uganda Cranes (4 PM)
  • 2nd Quarter final: Zimbabwe Vs Comoros (6:30 PM)

Sunday, 2nd June 2019:

  • 3rd Quarter final: South Africa Vs Botswana (4 PM)
  • 4th Quarter final: Zambia Vs Malawi (6:30 PM)

*All matches at the Princess Magogo Stadium, Durban

Uganda Cranes will play Lesotho in the first quarterfinal match at the 2019 COSAFA Championship on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

The match will take place at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, a suburb of Durban, South Africa.

The Ugandan delegation travelled to Durban on Wednesday night and has since held two training sessions on Thursday and Friday.

Preparations

The team had trained in Kampala for a fortnight and was involved in a trial match, winning 1-0 against Western region select team away at the Bushenyi playground.

Coached by Abdallah Mubiru and Livingstone Mbabazi as the head and assistant respectively, the Cranes team is largely home-based with only one player, Daniel Isiagi, who plays in Egypt.

We had had good preparations for this tournament and the players are ready for the job in their midst. We are ready to give 100% in the game against Lesotho

Abdallah Mubiru, Uganda Cranes head coach at COSAFA 2019 Tournament
Abdallah Mubiru, the head coach for the COSAFA team (Photo: David Isabirye)

Key players:

Uganda Cranes

This Ugandan side has an experienced defender in Isaac Isinde who is also the team captain.

Vastly experienced defender Isaac Isinde is the team captain at COSAFA (Photo: David Isabirye)

Isinde played at the AFCON 2017 finals in Gabon and is currently plying his trade at Kirinya-Jinja S.S in the Uganda Premier League. He previously had semi-professional stints in Ethiopia and Zambia.

There is Muzamiru Mutyaba, a midfielder who has been part of the Uganda Cranes set up for a long time.

Midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba (right) dribbles the ball against Namibia at 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco Credit: CAF Media

Mutyaba was part of the Uganda Cranes team at the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco.

Other experienced faces are goalkeeper Charles Lukwago and dreadlocked striker Daniel Muzeyi Sserunkuma.

By and large, Sserunkuma is actually among the most senior players on the team (alongside Isinde) and could as well be the poster boy as well.

Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma battles for the ball against Kampala region in a regional tour match Credit: © Kawowo Sports |

On the team as well is the 2018-19 Uganda Premier League top scorer Juma Balinya.

This team has quite a number of promising youngsters as Bright Anukani, Paul Willa, John Revita, Nicholas Kasozi, Paul Mucureezi, Mustafa Kizza, Allan Kayiwa and Shafik Kuchi Kagimu.

Uganda Cranes Probable Line Up:

Charles Lukwago (G.K), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, Isaac Isinde (Captain), Musitafa Mujjuzi, Nicholas Kasozi, Paul Mucureezi, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Daniel Muzeyi Sserunkuma, Juma Balinya, Nelson Senkatuka

Lesotho:

Lesotho lineup that started against Uganda away in Maseru. They lost 2-0 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

The Southern African country has assembled a strong team with tried and tested players as left back Bokang Sello, Nkau Leortholi, Jane Thabants’o, Tsepo Toloane and the proven exciting forward Motebang Sera.

Sera is expected to lead the line alongside Nkoto Masoabi and Thapelo Tale.

Sera Motebang (right) in action against Uganda Cranes at Namboole. Lesotho lost 3-0 Credit: KAWOWO SPORTS

On Saturday, there are two semifinal contests with the second match being Zimbabwe against Comoros.

Sunday’s doubleheader has the hosts South Africa in the early kick-off against Botswana at 4 PM before Zambia will take on Malawi at 6:30 PM.

All the matches will take place at the Princess Magogo Stadium in the coastal Durban.

Uganda is the guest country at the championship that will kick off that will wind down on 8th June in South Africa.

Zimbabwe (2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2017, 2018) has the most titles (six) since the tournament inception in 1997.

Uganda Cranes Team:

Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC) and James Alitho (URA FC)

Defenders: Paul Patrick Mbowa (URA FC), Paul Willa (Police), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), John Revita (Express FC), Isaac Isinde (Kirinya-Jinja S.S), Hassan Musana (KCCA FC), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC)

Midfielders: Bright Anukani (Proline), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA FC), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Allan Kayiwa (Tooro United FC), Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City FC), Michael Birungi Komunda (Express)

Forwards: Daniel Isiagi Opolot (Al Nasir, Egypt), Juma Balinya (Police FC), Nelson Senkatuka (right Stars FC), Dan Muzeyi Serunkuuma (Vipers SC)

Lesotho Team:

Goalkeepers: Sam Ketsekile, Thabiso Lichaba, Mohaheng Ramalefane

Defenders: Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Basia Makepe, Nkau Lerotholi, Bokang Sello, Lesia Thetsane, John Mohai, Kopano Khutlang,

Midfielders: Sepirit Malefane, Tsoanelo Koetle, Letsatsa Mosheshoe, Tsoarelo Bereng, Tsepo Toloane, Tumelo Khutlang, Hlompho Kalake, Jane Thabants’o, Luciano Matsoso, Lehlohonolo Fothoane

Strikers: Motebang Sera, Nkoto Masoabi, Thapelo Tale

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

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