Navruz Invitational Tournament
Thrid Place Playoff
• Tajikistan vs Kyrgyzstan -3PM
• Uganda vs Uzbekistan -5PM

Uganda and Uzbekistan will face off on Tuesday in the final of the 2022 Navruz Invitational Tournament final. The two teams will be seeking to lift the trophy after successfully winning their respective semi-final contest.

It should be noted that the tournament that started on Friday, comprised of four countries including hosts Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uganda.

In the semi-finals, Uganda eliminated Tajikistan 5-4 on penalties after normal time had ended in a one-all draw. Hosts Uzbekistan on the other hand were 3-1 winners of Kyrgyzstan.

Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic indicates the tournament has provided good test for his charges and ahead of Tuesday’s game against Uzbekistan at Navbahor Stadium in Namangan, he expects a tough challenge.

“We have the highest respect to Uzbekistan because they have players from good clubs in Middle East and Gulf area, and looking at that aspect, this will be a huge test of character for our players,” Micho said.

“This tournament has provided us with a good opportunity to keep improving as a team and I believe we have got so many positives from it. we have invested and we shall still invest very much hard work in looking for a good defence, creative build up and sharp attack.” He added.

Uganda will be without goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who is ruled out because of injury and thus either Nafian Alionzi or Benjamin Ochan will be in goal.

Combative midfielder Khalid Aucho who did not feature against Tajikistan is still out and will not feature in the final.

“For each position we are having two players competing and everyone is ready to seize the opportunity. The spirit we have built for seven days we have been together is something that is our investment not only for Tuesday’s final where we have test of character and measurement of value but it’s an investment to go beyond in June when we start Africa cup of Nations Qualifiers 2023.”

Uganda Cranes have used the tournament to prepare for the forthcoming engagements that include 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers and 2023 Championship of African Nations (CHAN).

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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