Thursday, August 31
Uganda vs Egypt, 4pm
Uganda Cranes takes on the Egyptian Pharaohs on Match day 3 of the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup Qualifiers at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
Like Benjamin Ochan said on Wednesday: “Football is full of surprises, you never know, this might be Uganda’s chance to qualify to the World Cup.”
But let us not forget that much as Egypt are widely regarded as the best team on African soil in the history of the game, courtesy of their 7-record African Cup of Nations titles, the country has failed to impress at the World Cup stage, making their last appearance in 1990.
Top of Group E with 2 points above Uganda, Egypt’s major target is to get back to back victories against Uganda and should they fulfill this target, they will secure their World Cup place if they beat Congo at home in October regardless of other results in the group, even before they meet Ghana in Kumasi in their last match.
Egypt’s Coach, Hector Cuper and his men are aware of that.
“I am confident of the players’ ability to overcome Uganda, as well as easily reaching the World Cup finals,” Cuper as quoted by an Egyptian media.
Uganda face Egypt today Thursday at home before a return leg in Alexandria five days later and its these two-point difference between Egypt and Uganda which make these two leg matches decisive for both teams.
The team’s major strength currently lies in their foreign based players; especially a rich midfield of Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Ramadhan Sobhi (Stoke, England) and Mohamed ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan (Kasimpasa, Turkey) – but it is Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England) who is carrying the scoring weight on his shoulders.
It is not yet known whether Coach Moses Basena has got a special plan for those individuals, but he recently said:
“We are not playing Mohamed Salah or Elneny; we are facing an Egyptian team at large,” Basena said in a recent training in Namboole.
The last time these two sides have faced, Egypt scored a late winner to dent Uganda’s hopes of progressing past the group stages of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and the Cranes’ players are having nothing like revenge on their minds ahead of today’s encounter.
Uganda Cranes probable lineup:
Denis Onyango, Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Isinde, Murushid Jjuko, Godfrey Walusimbi, Khalid Aucho, Hassan Wasswa, Joseph Ochaya, Emmanuel okwi, Farouk Miya and Godfrey Sserunkuma.