Malawi captain John Banda (left) with Uganda Cranes captain Dennis Onyango after the pre-match press conference in 2019

Total AFCON 2021 Qualifiers (Group B):

Monday, 29th March 2021: Malawi Flames Vs Uganda Cranes

Kamuzu Banda Stadium, Blantyre (3 PM)

Uganda Cranes captain and first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango challenged his charges to replicate the second half performance against Burkina Faso at the St Mary’s Stadium as the team takes on Malawi this Monday.

Onyango challenged the team to play total football if they are to seal the AFCON 2021 qualification away from home.

“We need to do ourselves a favor. We need to play total football. We need to carry on the momentum. It is in our hands. We need and must qualify for AFCON finals when we face Malawi” the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper stated.

Denis Onyango (left) with goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba Kisitu in Blanytre (Credit: FUFA Media)

Performance against Burkina Faso:

Onyango, one of the most experienced players on the team heaped praise on the general performance of the team against Burkina Faso, especially in the second half.

In particular, Onyango singled out midfielders Moses Waiswa and Ibrahim Orit who were introduced at the start of the second half for Mike Azira and Abdul Lumala respectively.

Orit came close to scoring when he headed onto the post a curling corner kick from Faruku Miya in the 69th minute.

“I am very happy for the performance of the team. We lifted out tempo in the second half and created half chances. The introduction of Moses Waiswa and Ibrahim Orit pushed us further in the second half.  We still needed this result. It is still in our hands to make qualification for a third straight AFCON finals a reality. I think Malawi and Uganda are still 50-50. Any of us can still make it.” he added.

Uganda Cranes goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba with Denis Onyango in training at Kamuzu stadium in Blanytre (Credit: FUFA Media)

Artificial grass and COVID-19 challenges:

Largely untroubled in the game played behind closed doors and on astro turf, Onyango also talked about   playing on astro-turf vis-à-vis natural grass amidst an empty stadium because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

“Playing on artificial turf is very difficult for any player. It is even very difficult to play during the COVID-19 times without fans.” He noted.

Uganda Cranes traveled to Malawi aboard a chartered Uganda Airlines flight and trained at the Kamuzu stadium on Sunday evening.

Denis Onyango (center) alongside Charles Lukwago and Salim Jamal Magoola during the last training session at Kamuzu stadium (Credit: FUFA Media)

Burkina Faso Stallions qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals following the goal-less stalemate with Burkina Faso.

The West Africans now have 9 points with a home contest left against South Sudan.

Uganda is on 8 points, a point better of Malawi who beat South Sudan 1-0 away at the Al Hilal Stadium in Khartoum city, Sudan.

Uganda Cranes still has the chance to seal the second slot in the group with a win or draw in Malawi on Monday, 29th March 2021.

On the same day, Burkina Faso will host already eliminated South Sudan in Ouagadogou city.

AFCON 2021 Qualifiers (Group B) – Match Day 5 Results:

  • Uganda Cranes 0-0 Burkina Faso
  • South Sudan 0-1 Malawi

Full Travelling Delegation:

Players:

Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal Omdurman, Sudan), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda)

Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam FC, Tanzania), Murushid Juuko (Express FC, Uganda), Musitafa Kiiza (DC Montreal, USA), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds, Sweden), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC, Uganda), Garvin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda)

Midfielders: Mike Azira (New Mexixo United-, USA), William Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Allan Okello (AC Paradou, Algeria), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Moses Waiswa (SuperSport United, South Africa), Taddeo Lwanga (Simba SC, Tanzania), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC, Uganda), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda)

Forwards: Daniel Isiagi (Jomo Cosmos, South Africa), Faruku Miya (Konyaspor, Turkey), Yunus Ssentamu (Vipers SC), Emmanuel Okwi (Al Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt)

Officials:

  • Leader of Delegation: Ronnie Kalema
  • Head coach: Abdallah Mubiru
  • Assistant Coach: Charles Livingstone Mbabazi
  • Goalkeepers’ Coach: Fred Kajoba
  • Team Doctors: Katumba Yahaya and Emmanuel Nakabago
  • Team Nutritionist/Fitness Trainer: Felix Ayobo
  • FUFA Covid-19 Officer: Dr. Ahimbisibwe Apollo
  • Team Coordinator: Geofrey Massa
  • Media Officer: Stephen Mayamba
  • 102.1 FUFA fm: Reagan Mulekeezi- Commentator
  • Kits men: Ayubu Balyejusa and Samuel Mulondo

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

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