- Thursday November 11, 2021
- St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende 4pm
On October 8, 2011, Uganda Cranes needed a win over Kenya’s Harambee Stars to reach the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The visitors had a slim chance of reaching the finals but that didn’t even depend on their results but elsewhere. In a nutshell, they were all but out of contention.
In the end, the match at the fully packed Mandela National stadium, Namboole ended in a goalless draw following a defensive master class from Kenya under the tutelage of Zedekiah Otieno and Uganda just like their neighbours were out.
On Thursday November 11 at Kitende, Micho and company will be out to avoid a repeat of history as Uganda aims to stay in line to qualify for their first ever World Cup finals.
Sitting second in Group E with 8 points, Uganda must beat Kenya and Mali to reach the final play-off round of the road to Qatar 2022.
The Serbian is aware of the threat posed by Kenya and has prepared his team in the best possible way.
“We need to take every match as it is and we are now focusing on the game against Kenya,” Micho said.
“They will play for pride and ready to spoil the party like they have done before against the Cranes. We are preparing ourselves in the best way possible. We only ask for support from every stakeholder.”
In fact, Michael Olunga, the Harambee Stars captain has already warned that although Kenya are not in contention to qualify, they will play their hearts out against the Cranes.
“Although we don’t stand a chance of qualifying for the World Cup, we are going to represent Kenya. So, we have our nation to make proud,” Olunga stated.
“We are also trying to come back from the setback we suffered against Mali. We will try to be much more positive in these two encounters and finish on a high.”
Team captain Emmanuel Okwi has been overlooked again despite getting a new club in Rwanda.
Murushid Jjuuko two match ban is done but he hasn’t been summoned for the last two ties – versus Kenya and Mali.
Left back Mustafa Kizza has also been left out of the team and so is Joseph Ochaya plus midfielder Taddeo Lwanga.
Allan Okello, Bevis Mugabi, Mathias Kigonya are recalled to the team after being overlooked in the past qualifiers.
For Kenya, defenders Joash Onyango, John Okumu as well as forwards Boniface Muchiri and Masud Juma are not part of the team.
Onyango asked to concentrate on his club duty at Simba while the rest are injured according to Kenya coach Engin Firat.
This will be the 79th meeting between Uganda and Kenya – Cranes won 32, Kenya 22 and there have been 24 stalemates.
In Afcon/World Cup qualifiers, the two nations have met 12 times – Uganda won 6, lost 1 and the rest draws.
Uganda Cranes Probable XI
Lukwago (GK), Mugabi, Awany, Iguma, Muleme, Aucho ©, Bobosi, Waiswa, Karisa, Bayo and Mukwala
Uganda 1-0 Kenya