AFCON 2019 (Group A):
Sunday, 30th June:
- Uganda Cranes Vs Egypt Pharoahs – Cairo International Stadium
- Zimbabwe Warriors Vs Democratic Republic of Congo – 30th June Stadium
*Both matches kick off at 10 PM (East African Time)
With over 66 caps to his name for the Uganda Cranes, utility player Hassan Wasswa Mawanda is a veteran and senior member on the team.
The dread-locked player has virtually seen it all over the years and his experience speak loud volume having previously played in clubs at his mother country – Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and lately Egypt with Tala’ea El Gaish Sports Club.
In fact, Mawanda is only challenged by left back Godfrey “Jajja Walu” Walusimbi (102 caps), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (72), Denis Onyango (70), Faruku Miya (55), Khalid Aucho (44), William Luwaga Kizito (41), Isaac Muleme (32) and goalkeeper Robert Odongkara (29).
Mawanda is the vice captain of the Uganda Cranes to first choice goalkeeper Dennis Onyango at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The diligent player, who is comfortable in all the backline positions as well as in central midfield has the mantle to keep out the on-fire Egyptian strikers when Uganda Cranes take on the Pharoahs on Sunday.
Like left winger Muleme (currently at Czech side, FK Viktoria Žižkov) and Derrick Nsibambi, Hassan Wasswa has also played in Egypt at Tala’ea El Gaish Sports Club.
For starters, Muleme was at two Egyptian clubs (Alassiouty Sport and Haras El Hodoud) before he sought greener pastures to Czech Republic whilst Nsibambi is at Alexandria based Smouha Sporting Club.
Mawanda addressed the pre match press conference on Saturday at Cairo International Stadium and boldly outlined the readiness to take on Egypt before a full capacity ground.
We are not focusing on individual players. We are focused to take on the Egypt team, not individuals. They can also make mistakes. We are concentrating on our last game to qualify to the round of 16. My experience of playing in Egypt will also count for something. I have told my fellow players on how to approach them.Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Uganda Cranes Vice Captain
One game at a
Mawanda remains unfazed by the host tag for Egypt but rather determined to lead the teammates. He also hinted on the one game at a time approach before poking into the future.
“When you come to the tournament like AFCON, It is always about collecting maximum points. We are taking one game at a time and now eyeing the Egypt game. We have had no problems with the weather conditions in Egypt because the team had a training camp in Abu Dhabi. It is a good challenge for us coming to this particular game and we shall give our best” Mawanda added.
Uganda Cranes need to avoid defeat and progress to the next round.
Victory for Cranes will see the CECAFA giants top group A.
A draw will see Egypt top the group with maximum points.
A loss for Uganda will not spell doom but rather await results from the other game at the 30th June Stadium between Zimbabwe Vs DR Congo.
DR Congo’s win will put Uganda Cranes through irrespective of the results from the Uganda – Egypt tie.