Ibrahim Orit is one of the Uganda Cranes to face Iceland in the international build up game Credit: John Batanudde

International Build Up Match: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

  • Iceland Vs Uganda Cranes – Belek, Turkey (5 PM)

Iceland and Uganda meet for the first time ever in an international football game in Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast town of Belek on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

This international fixture comes at the opportune timing as both countries are rebuilding their teams following failed qualification campaigns.

Iceland failed to make it to the FIFA World Cup 2022 World Cup in a group that saw Germany qualify directly and Macedonia via the play-offs.

On the other hand, Uganda failed to progress to the on-going AFCON 2021 finals in Cameroon and recently lost to Mali in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Goalkeeper Charles Lukwago traveled to Turkey Credit: John Batanudde

Uganda traveled to Turkey on Monday aboard Ethiopian Airlines with stop-overs in Addis Ababa and Cairo before the connecting flight to the capital Instabul via Turkish Airways.

The team had a single session on Monday morning before traveling later in the afternoon with a 23-man team.

URA defender Fesali Najib was left after problems with his passport and a couple of other players due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The traveling delegation had the returning goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan, right back Innocent Wafula Esimu, youngsters Travis Mutyaba, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Kenneth Semakula, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Abdul Aziizi Kayondo, Muhammed Shaban, unattached Patrick Henry Kaddu and many others.

Milutin Sredojevic, Uganda Cranes head coach Credit: John Batanudde

Head coach Milutin “”Micho” Sredojevic is optimistic of a good performance in the five planned international friendly matches as the different players are being tested on the international stage.

“This is a big opportunity for the Uganda Cranes to play in Europe. We are preparing players for the AFCON and CHAN 2023 qualifiers” Micho revealed.

Iceland has a 24-man team with Davíð Kristján Ólafsson the latest player to make it to the squad.

Iceland players in training in Berek, Turkey (Credit: Iceland FA Media)

Olafsson who has two caps to his name (against Estonia in 2019 and Canada 2020) replaced Guðmundur Þórarinsson after the former suffered an injury ailment.

The match kicks off at 5 PM (East African Standard Time).

Uganda Cranes Squad:

Goalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan (KCCA), Charles Lukwago (Saint George, Ethiopia), Isima Bin Abdul Rashid Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Innocent Wafula Esimu (KCCA), Abdu Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers SC), Eric Senjobe (Police), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Enock Walusimbi (Express), Kenneth Semakula (Sc Villa)

Midfielders: Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers), Ashraf Mugume (KCCA), George Kasonko (BUL), Bright Anukani (Vipers), Martin Kizza (Express)

Forwards: Muhammad Jagason Shaban (Onduparaka), Travis Mutyaba (SC Villa), Rogers Mato Kassim (KCCA), Steven Mukwala (URA), Yunus Junior Sentamu (Vipers), Henry Patrick Kaddu (Unattached), Milton Karisa (Vipers), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers)

Iceland Squad:

Ingvar Jonsson, Patrick Sigurdur Gunnarsson, Hakon Rafn Valdimarsson, Finnur Tomas Palmason, Isak Oli Olafsson, Damir Muminovic, Ari Leifsson, Atli Barkason, Davíð Kristján Ólafsson, Valgeir Lunddal Fridriksson, Alfons Sampsted, Viktor Karl Einarsson, Valdimar Por Ingimundarson, Kristall Mani Ingason, Stefan Teitur Pordarson, Viktor Orlygur Andrason, Alex Por Hauksson, Hoskuldur Gunnlaugsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Gisli Eyjolfsson, Vidar Ari Jonsson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen, Bryjolfur Andersen Willumsson

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

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