Saturday, October 7
Uganda Cranes vs Ghana, 4 pm
All roads will lead to Mandela National Stadium in Namboole today as Uganda Cranes play host to the visiting Ghana Senior National Football team, the Black Stars in the World Cup qualifier.
The Cranes come into this duel at the back of a 2-1 loss against Madagascar in a friendly test match recently at Lugogo, but the boys will look to draw their inspiration from the huge crowds expected to throng the Stadium.
Uganda who have not qualified for the World Cup will look to the inspiration of their star players like Tonny Mawejje, Farouk Miya, Denis Onyango (Captain), Kizito Luwagga and Emmanuel Okwi for victory, with the later scoring the lone goal as they defeated Egypt 1-0 at Namboole recently.
Visitors Ghana have been struggling of recent.
At the start of this campaign, the Black Stars were the top favourites to lead the group but home draws against Uganda and Congo with a defeat against the Pharaohs have dented their hopes as it stands.
However, Kwesi Appiah’s side recieved a major boost when they won 5-1 away in Brazaville with a depleted squad and now the team is optimistic and confident that a win Kampala is achievable despite the absence of many key players including team Captain Asamoah Gyan.
In the same group, Egyptian Pharaohs will look to further cement their place on top when they host hope-less bottom placed Congo later in the day.
What the Coaches have said prior to this match
Uganda Cranes Coach Moses Basena: “As I said in the beginning, I believed we had enough fuel to take us to 3 destinations, that is to the CHAN tournament which we already qualified, the African Cup of Nations and this 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.”
Ghana Black Stars Coach Kwesi Appiah: “World Cup campaign games are always difficult and Uganda are at home playing with their fans behind them. My ambition will still remain to win all my remaining games and qualify but its a tall order.”
Team News from both Camps
No new fresh injury has been reported from the Uganda Cranes since the team entered the camp.
Uganda’s only major missing players include defender Murushid Juuko and Central Midfielder Khalid Aucho who are both suspended.
Ghana come into this tie with a depleted squad: Captain Asamoah Gyan, Ayew brothers (Andre and Jordan), Thomas Agyepong and Columbus Crew duo Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Christian Atsu are not in the squad.
Coach Kwesi Appiah has added in a blend of youngsters and new faces including Young Boys defender Kassim Adams, Kingsley Sarfo and Isaac Twum.
Head to Head
When these two sides last met, it was in Africa Cup of Nations Tournament earlier this year and Ghana edged the game 1-0 as Uganda bowed out of the tourney with just one point.
In this World Cup campaign, the Uganda Cranes managed to pick a goalless draw in Ghana.
The last time Ghana played at Namboole, they lost 1-0 courtesy of Savio Kabugo’s goal.
In the last seven meetings overall, Uganda has won once, lost 3 and drawn the other 3 games with Ghana’s Black Stars.
Uganda’s World Cup Qualification campaign at home
History is so far so good for the Cranes when playing at home in a World Cup Qualifier since the 2000 era.
In the last 16 games played, Uganda has been victors in 11, recording 4 draws and losing only once.
Uganda’s only loss came against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a 1-0 defeat via Quinton Fortune’s lone goal on Sunday, October 10th 2004.
Uganda Cranes has only conceeded once in their last 5 home games in a World Cup Campaign, Ricard Job Estevao scoring for Angola but Cranes overturned the dificit with two late goals from Emma Okwi and Tonny Mawejje in 2013.
Group E Standing
With just 4 games played, Uganda sit in 4th place on the Group E table.
1. Egypt – 9 points
2. Uganda – 7 points
3. Ghana – 5 points
4. Congo – 1 point.
Two games left and the top team will qualify automatically to the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tue 17/0/17 Ghana 1-0 Ugadaa
Fr 07/10/16 Ghana 0- 0 Ugnda
Sat 15/11/14 Uganda 1 – 0 Ghana
Sat 06/09/14 Ghana 1 – 1 Uganda
Sun 31/05/09 Ghana 2 – 1 Uganda
Sun 04/09/05 Ghana 2 – 0 Uganda
Sat 03/07/04 Uganda 1 – 1 Ghana