AFCON 2021 Qualifiers (Group B): Match day 4: Monday, 16th November 2020

South Sudan Bright Stars Vs Uganda Cranes

*At Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi (4 PM)

Uganda Cranes and South Sudan face off once again in a period of four days at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on Monday, 16th November 2020.

The comes in the wake of the first leg played last a couple of days ago at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende where Uganda Cranes needed a late- late headed goal from defender Halid Lwaliwa off Faruku Miya’s free-kick in the 85th minute.

Lwaliwa had moments earlier replaced towering Ronald Mukiibi who picked a ham-string injury in the 68th minute and thus the forced substitution.

The contest is a must-win scenario game for Uganda Cranes in a bid to seal a ticket to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye takes a detailed scrutiny in the anticipated match ups with Uganda Cranes’ left back Joseph Benson Ochaya suspended and thus left in Kampala.

Uganda Cranes offensive midfielder Farouk Miya Credit: Edgar Hamala

Ramadan John Mayik Diing (South Sudan) Vs Farouk Miya (Uganda)

During the first leg at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende, South Sudan Bright Stars’ goalkeeper Ramadan John Mayik Diing was solid and commanding like a captain on the ship.

He bossed the air spaces in his territory, was alert and quick to tame any sort of danger thrown to him.

On countless occasions, he was fast off the block to parry away the crosses from the left or right flanks to boldly justify why he was selected ahead of Australian based Majak Maling Mawith who plays at Melbourne Football Club.

The Malakia Football Club Juba shot stopper saved dead balls and only slipped once for the goal scored by Lwaliwa.

Goalkeeper Ramadan John Mayik Diing (right) Credit: Edgar Hamala

Having foiled Faruku Miya on the evening that had a mixture of rains and sunshine, Mayik faces the same opponent among others. Miya, who plies his trade at Turkish side Konyaspor will be eyeing a far much improved personal and team performance on the natural grass of Nyayo.

From the movements, inter-play with opponents and shooting abilities, Miya will test Mayik on Monday evening just like he did during the first leg with one of the closest chances witnessing a low drive kissing the low right post before sailing out for a fruitless corner-kick in the 72nd minute.

The Uganda Cranes team that started against South Sudan at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende

Abdulkarim Yom Mutwakil (South Sudan) Vs William Luwagga Kizito (Uganda)

Crafty play-maker William Luwagga Kizito was for the better part of the first half against South Sudan deployed on the far left flank among the three fore-line attackers.

Blessed with an array of tricks, quick change of pace and unpredictability, Luwagga can win the match for his team single-handledly.

During the first leg, he was at times hurried to decide on what to do and sometimes a little bit too slow to execute.

L-R: David Sebit Omot, Abdulkarim Yom Mutwakil Credit: Edgar Hamala

He faces Abdulkarim Yom Mutwakil, a player of Atalabara Juba football club who foiled him on many occasions during the first leg.

Whereas Mutwakil might have carried a paper with him where instructions on how to frustrate Luwagga, the Uganda Cranes’ play-maker squeezed a couple of moments to do what he is best known for, step overs, quick passes, take-ons although the shooting accuracy eluded him.

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi closes down South Sudan’s Abdulkarim Yom Mutwakil Credit: Edgar Hamala

David Sebit Omot (South Sudan) Vs Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Uganda)

Al Merrikh Juba’s David Sebit Omot kept Emmanuel Arnold Okwi at bay for large spells of the match at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

Depending on the tactics, Okwi may be permitted to thrive at wide right positions where he excels with dribbles, crossing and shooting abilities.

Okwi is expected to meet Omot once again on Monday evening as the two countries look horns at Nyayo.

Whether Okwi will revenge being locked out during the first leg or Omot will maintain the positional discipline shall remain a discussion in the aftermath.

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi
Uganda Cranes’ captain Denis Onyango and South Sudan\s counter Peter Maker Manyango in pre-match customs

Peter Maker Manyang (South Sudan) Vs Fahad Bayo (Uganda)

South Sudan’s captain Peter Maker Manyang is a good defender with agility coupled by composure.

His physicality and aggression define him as a complete defender with awesome heading skills, tackling and ball passing skills.

During the first leg at Kitende, the gangly defender who turns out for Amarat United in South Sudan pocketed Egyptian based Derrick Paul Nsibambi for long spells of the match.

Fahad Bayo

In case the Uganda Cranes technical team introduces Israel based Fahad Aziz Bayo, this will be an explosive battle for pace and aggressiveness.

Bayo is also a great fighter in aerial battles and has a point to prove having been among the unused substitutes during the Thursday clash.

After all, the national team duties provide no second chances. Every player comes and takes their presented opportunities.

L-R: Mike Azira, Khalid Aucho and Denis Onyango Credit: Edgar Hamala

Rehan Angier Malong (South Sudan) Vs Khalid Aucho (Uganda)

Until he picked a knock, Khalid Aucho had remained one of Uganda Cranes top performers during the first leg against South Sudan.

A tackler and fighter for the ball, Aucho also makes effective use of possession with short crispy passing and the enviable diagonal balls.

In case he passes the fitness test with flying colours, the Egyptian based midfielder will once again face off with Rehan Angier Malong of Munuki Juba in the South Sudan domestic league.

Like Aucho, Malong is a good tackler and passer of the ball. Therefore, whoever perfects his act on the day will inspire his respective side.

L-R: Ramadhan John, Rehan Angier Malong and Credit: Edgar Hamala

Manyumom Achol (South Sudan) Vs Mike Azira (Uganda)

Time immemorial, 75 percent of football battles word-over are won and lost in the delicate midfield zone.

The middle of the pack dictates the tiding and flow of the game. It is the department where most attacks are planned and executed, with the ability to control the tempo of the game at most times.

L-R: William Luwagga, Mike Azira and Khalid Aucho Credit: Edgar Hamala

US based Uganda Cranes midfielder Mike Azira, whose employment contract at Chicago Fire ran out produced an A performance during the first leg against South Sudan with intelligent coverage of spaces, good work ethic, excellent use of the ball and a perfect bridge as a chain to inter-link defence and attack.

Azira comes under close scrutiny as the public will demand more or less the same performance in the return leg.

The man in charge of spoiling his party is Manyumom Achol, a player who roves away all the midfield and attack departments.

Manyumom plies his professional trade at Kingston in New Zealand.

Credit: Edgar Hamala

Jackson Morgan Odebe (16) Vs Disan Galiwango (Uganda)

Vipers Sports Club left back Disan Galiwango is expected to earn his first international cap on Monday evening when Uganda Cranes play South Sudan away at the Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.

The dread-locked player has been prepared mentally and physically for the Big day in his football career after learning that Joseph Benson Ochaya is out suspended having picked a second yellow card in the campaign.

South Sudan’s Jackson Morgan Odebe challenged by Faruku Miya and Khalid Aucho Credit: Edgar Hamala
Fahad Bayo and Disan Galwango stretching during a training regime for Uganda Cranes (Credit: FUFA Media)

Galiwango himself ought to take this opportunity with both hand and stage a gallant performance, one that will keep in contention at the left back department that has Ochaya and Alex Kakuba since the retirement of Godfrey “Jajja Walu” Walusimbi.

He will face Australian based Jackson Morgan Odebe (of Perth Football Club), a player who is fast and has the footballing brains as well.

Odebe has already tested the wrath of the Uganda Cranes team and therefore will come a prepared party.

During the first leg, Odebe was rested for Dominic Angelo Kornelio Aroma with 10 minutes into the second half.

Tito Okello Odongo during the signing of the South Sudan national anthem Credit: Edgar Hamala

Tito Okello Odong (South Sudan) Vs Timothy Denis Awany (Uganda)

Born and bred in Uganda, Tito Okello Odong knows the Uganda Cranes team inside and out.

He was a thorn in the flesh of the Ugandan defence during the opening stages of the first leg before he withered and was later substituted for Denis Yongure Daluri with 10 minutes to play.

On Monday, the Gor Mahia Football Club newly signed forward returns a much energized lad and will confront the Uganda Cranes with vigor and a point to prove home.

L-R: Timothy Awany and William Luwagga Credit: Edgar Hamala

He will face Israel based defender Timothy Denis Awany who features at FC Ashdod.

In the first leg, Okello tugged down Awany to the synthetic turf of Kitende during one of physical duels in the first half.

Awany has improved a lot as a defender with good heading skills, diagonal passing, game reading abilities as well as tackling.

Uganda Cranes first choice goalkeeper and captain Denis Onyango Credit: Edgar Hamala

Makueth  Wol Akeen Nguet (22) Vs Denis Onyango (Uganda Cranes)

Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango shone once again with command, taming of all aerial balls and one against one situations in the match against South Sudan at Kitende.

In one of the 1 vs 1 moments, Onyango foiled towering forward Makueth  Wol Akeen Nguet, quickly racing off the goal-line as the ball from the Mbarara City forward bounced off Onyango’s chest.

Makueth shot wide from both flanks in either halves and nearly won a penalty for his side in the second stanza.

South Sudan starting XI against Uganda Credit: Edgar Hamala

Onyango is a leader with great organizational skills for the team from the backline to attack as manifested for country and his club, Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

From the terraces, his coarse voiced orders could clearly be heard as he shouted instructions to teammates endlessly.

On Monday evening, Onyango will be eyeing a clean sheet in as many as four games during the current AFCON 2021 qualification campaign.

Defender Halid Lwaliwa flies in celebration after heading home the sole goal (Credit: Fish)

Stephen Pawaar Lony (South Sudan) Vs Halid Lwaliwa (Uganda)

Should Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu fail a test fitness test, then Vipers’ defender Halid Lwaliwa is best positioned to command a starting slot on Monday.

Lwaliwa who is also the Vipers’ captain was introduced in the 68th minute when Mukiibi limped out because of an ham-string.

The technical team may not risk Mukiibi and therefore Lwaliwa could face South Sudan.

The match up pair is Stephen Pawaar Lony, a player of Munuki Juba in South Sudan domestic league.

Pawaar executed a couple of movements in the first game and also registered several attempts towards the Uganda Cranes goal, many of which flew over and above Denis Onyango.

He was later rested for Musa Abdalla Asad with 10 minutes to play.

Ivan Wani Adebo sings the South Sudan national anthem Credit: Edgar Hamala

Ivan Wani Adebo (Sudan) Vs Elvis Bwomono (Uganda)

Left footed winger Ivan Wani Adebo is another player on the South Sudan’s team with rich knowledge about the Uganda Cranes team.

Wani plays for Busoga United in the Uganda Premier League having studied at Jinja Secondary School in Jinja city.

Normally deployed at club level as inverted winger, Wani played on the left flank during the first leg at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

He did not disappoint with successful dribbles, complete passes as he also swung in a couple of harmless crosses.

Elvis Bomono Credit: Edgar Hamala

Wani is expected to face United Kingdom based right back Elvis Bwomono of South End United in the English League one.

Bwomono made his debut during the first leg and did the basics right.

He is expected to win the trust and favour of the technical team once again ahead of Azam’s experienced Nicholas Wakiro Wadada.

With his defending never in question, Bwomono will be tasked to better the offensive chores as a contemporary flying right back.

South Sudan’s head coach Cyprian Besong Ashu

Cyprian Besong Ashu (South Sudan) Vs Johnathan McKinstry (Uganda)

As the players battle out in the field of play for the 90 or so minutes, there is a serious hustle on the touchline in every football game.

This contest is always for the technical wing in the battle of tactics. How the teams are prepared, the planning process, line up selection, deployed strategies with varying formations and the changes that might be made during the match proper tell a great deal.

South Sudan’s head coach Cyprian Besong Ashu is a German national of Cameroon decent and his counterpart for Uganda Cranes Johnathan McKinstry is from Northern Ireland.

Johnahan McKinstry (right)

The two coaches have already faced off and have a skeleton of what each team plays.

The return leg, perhaps will tell a different story because this is a complete new environment that will call for different plan outs although with more or less the same players.

The back room staff means a great deal for the head coaches as they share ideas ranging from tactics, fitness levels to strategies.

McKinstry’s right hand men include Alexander McCarthy (statistician), Abdallah Mubiru (assistant one), Charles Livingstone Mbabazi (assistant two), Fred Kajoba Kisitu (goalkeeping coach), Geofrey Massa (team coordinator), Felix Ayobo (fitness coach), the two physicians Opika Opoka and Emmanuel Nakabago as well the equipment managers Ayub Balyejusa and Samuel Mulondo.

Besong has James Ezekiel Ismalia Milla as assistant coach, Narcisse Tinkeu Nguimgou in charge of fitness, Kannady Santolion Tambi Banasio (goalkeeping coach), Theban Kwacakwan Ajalong Nyakwan (doctor) and Juma Jenaro Akono Yuma as the equipment manager.

All these officials play a coordinal room to ensure effective organization of the entire team prior to and during the match.

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

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think