KAMPALA. The Uganda Cranes can make a strong case for a slot in the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with six points from their double-header against Lesotho starting this evening at Namboole.
But while the games were considered pretty straightforward when the draws were made over a year ago, the Cranes go into today’s encounter with a bit of uncertainty.
That was mainly caused by the nature of last month’s home goalless draw with Tanzania. While the result turned out not to have serious consequences for the Cranes who still hold a two point advantage in the four-team Group L, the performance of the team when going forward left a lot to be desired.
Identifying right manpower
This has been as a consequence of Desabre failing to identify the right attacking players for the adventurous style of play he promised when he was unveiled 10 months ago.
Surprisingly, the common denominator from Desabre’s first five games in charge has been the use of two holding midfielders despite four of those games being non-competitive.
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda has been the constant factor in four of those games starting in the holding midfield role save for last month’s qualifier against Tanzania when he started in defence alongside Murushid Jjuuko.
With another like-for-like midfielder usually preferred in the setup, Desabre’s teams have sometimes had semblance to those favoured by the largely conservative previous coach Micho Sredojevic.
The cautiousness was largely to blame as the Cranes ran out of ideas in the second half when the visiting Tanzanians opted to play on the break.
From the training sessions this week it appears as if Desabre is going for a slight offensive approach.
That is likely to see Khalid Aucho who has been largely inactive over the past 12 months being dropped in Dennis Guma’s favour.
That could allow Moses Waiswa, arguably Cranes best outfield player against Tanzania more freedom in a preferred central role in a midfield trident alongside Farouk Miya.
Joseph Ochaya is expected to start on the left of midfield and act as a main source of supply for the two forwards; likely Patrick Kaddu and Emmanuel Okwi.
How Cranes teams have appeared going forward
Sao Tome and Principe.
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Milton Karisa
(80’ Fahad Bayo), Geofrey ‘Baba’ Kizito (67’
Tadeo Lwanga), William Kizito Luwagga,
Tadeo Lwanga, Hassan Wasswa
Mawanda, Milton Karisa, Emmanuel Okwi,
Yunus Sentamu, Joseph Benson Ochaya
Khalid Aucho (87’ Edrisa Lubega),
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Captain), Faruku
Miya (54’ William Luwagga Kizito), Yunus
Ssentamu (54’ Milton Karisa), Emmanuel
Okwi, Allan Kateregga (61’ Isaac Muleme)
Khalid Aucho, Hassan Wasswa
Mawanda, Moses Opondo, Allan Kateregga,
Edrisa Lubega Emmanuel Okwi
Khalid Aucho, Denis Iguma, Moses
Waiswa, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi,