Lumala and Desabre [John Batanudde]

On Friday night, Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre obviously looked dejected for the elimination from the on-going African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt.

Uganda lost 1-0 to West Africans Senegal with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane on target for the Lions of Teranga.

Addressing the post-match press conference, the Uganda Cranes head coach Desabre, who was flanked by his counterpart from Senegal Aliou Cisse expressed appreciation for the work well done by the players at this biannual championship.

I am proud with what my team has achieved. They showed the character right from the first match against Democratic Republic of Congo to the round of 16 game with Senegal.

Sebastien Desabre, Uganda Cranes Head Coach
Sebastien Desabre

The Frenchman who has previously coached clubs in Morocco and Egypt, among others saluted the opponents (Senegal) with their star player, Mane.

I would like to congratulate Senegal. We faced a group of fighters and we are glad with this game. Sadio Mane is a world class player that can create the difference.

Sebastien Desabre, Uganda Cranes Head Coach
Sebastien Desabre walks with winger Abdu Lumala after the game in Cairo

Uganda Cranes had a torrid start to the game; getting two players (captain Denis Onyango and Emmanuel Arnold Okwi) cautioned inside the opening ten minutes of the physical game.

Later, Khalid Aucho was also booked by the Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal in the opening stanza of the game.

Uganda was unfortunate to loss utility player Hassan Wasswa Mawanda who pulled a ham-string, moments after Mane’s goal.

Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (down) pulled a ham-string in the first 15 minutes of the game

Wasswa’s place was taken by KCCA defender Timothy Denis Awany during the forced change.

Uganda Cranes tried to create a couple of goal scoring opportunities not well utilized.

Bevis Mugabi’s free header in the first half, Okwi and Miya’s set pieces were some of the chances created.

By and large, in the four AFCON 2019 games that Uganda Cranes played in Egypt, one was won (2-0 against DR Congo), one drawn (with Zimbabwe) and two lost – Egypt and Senegal.

The Ugandan delegation will depart Cairo for Uganda on Sunday.

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

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