Kampala. Cranes skipper Denis Onyango’s latest drive just emphasises what a strong position Uganda find themselves in with a whole 180 minutes of Nations Cup qualification football still to play.
By now, following Uganda’s professional schooling of Lesotho – the 2-0 dismissal of the Basotho in Maseru completing a five-goal to nought double header victory; it is common knowledge that the Cranes need just one more point from the remaining two matches to qualify.
But according to Onyango, who praised his teammates, government, Fufa and fans for their role in the results; the targets have since shifted a notch higher.
“We want to finish on a high by beating Cape Verde at home and winning the East African derby (against Tanzania) in Dar es Salaam,” “declared the victorious captain and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper. Maximum points would see Uganda qualify with a country record 16 points.
Onyango, a one-time African Player of the Year based on the continent, is again proving his class by remaining one of only two goalkeepers yet to concede a goal in four qualifying matches. South Africa are the other country yet to concede. “We want to finish top of the group so that we are seeded in the final tournament,” emphasised Onyango.
Caf seeding of teams normally considers countries performances in the most recent editions of Afcon finals, Afcon qualifiers, World Cup finals and World Cup qualifiers.
If ever seeded, Uganda would stand a chance of avoiding some of the continental heavyweights in the group.
The Cranes were at the previous Afcon finals edition in Gabon, finished second in their World Cup qualifying group behind Egypt and ahead of Ghana.
Onyango is ready to push for maximum points in the remaining matches; so are his teammates. One of those got a dream chance against Lesotho in Maseru and fully utilised it.
“I was mentally prepared and physically ready for the game because all along, I knew I would get my chance,” said midfielder Allan Kateregga.
“I’m glad that I was named on the team I took up the opportunity with both hands.” Kateregga was one of three changes Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre made in Maseru. The others were Patrick Kaddu and the returning Murushid Juuko.
The FC Cape Town City midfielder had an impressive first half in which he crafted Faruku Miya’s opener before the scorer completed his brace 10 minutes to half time. He was replaced by Isaac Muleme.