Kampala. Uganda go into today’s 2019 Nations Cup qualifying engagement with Lesotho well aware they must step up.
Coach Sebastien Desabre will be taking charge of his 11th game, although five of those he just presided over as an observer after assuming the seat last December.
So it is only fair to say that this will be the Frenchman’s only second competitive match after last month’s goalless draw against Tanzania at Namboole.
Yet, that may not provide enough cover should Desabre and Cranes fail to earn their first victory of the campaign at home despite going into this topping Group L on four points.
In Desabre’s transition of the Cranes to a seemingly more adventurous one, they seem to still be looking for direction upfront.
Actually, the team seem to have lost a bit of returns in front of goal since coach Micho Sredojevic left late last year. Uganda have since the 1-0 victory over Egypt at Namboole in August last year not treated home fans to a goal, drawing both matches against Ghana and Tanzania at the one-time slaugterhouse not so long ago.
Going full force
The combination of above factors leave the Cranes with little options but go for it with full force.
“All we need is a win and all we need is goals,” emphasised Cranes vice captain Hassan Wasswa.
“The players know what is at stake and we are all aware of what we need to do.”
Wasswa, who could start in central defence or in holding midfield, added: “We didn’t play well against Tanzania but we are topping our group and we need to consolidate that on Saturday.” Desabre could hand KCCA captain Timothy Awany a starting role alongside Wasswa or Isaac Isinde in central defence, with Nicholas Wadada and Godfrey Walusimbi as full backs.
Captain Denis Onyango is the undisputed number one in goal, with Khalid Aucho and Denis Iguma candidates again in holding role, a tactic that defied Desabre’s fluid football gospel against Tanzania.
Patrick Kaddu is shoe-in to start upfront with Emmanuel Okwi playing off him.
Should Desabre sacrifice one striker, Joseph Ochaya and Moses Waiswa will operate the wings, with Faruku Miya offering the creative spark behind attack.
Lesotho’s dangerman remains striker Sera Motebang. The Matlama FC forward scored Lesotho’s goal against Cape Verde and is one trusted General of coach Moses Maliehe.
All Lesotho players ply their trade at home but have demonstrated against Tanzania and Cape Verde that they are not pushovers. upfront.
Uganda Cranes probable XI:
Denis Onyango, Nicholas Wadada, Timothy Awany, Hassan Wasswa, Godfrey Walusimbi, Denis Iguma, Joseph Ochaya, Moses Waiswa, Faruku Miya, Emma Okwi, Patrick Kaddu
Substitutes: Jamal Salim, Charles Lukwago, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Isaac Muleme, Ibrahim Sadaam, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Kateregga, Khalid Aucho, Edris Lubega, Derrick Nsibambi, Milton Karisa, Allan Kyambadde
Goalkeepers: Samuel Khetsekile (FC Masheshena), Lomani Mphuthi (LDF FC), Mohau Kuenane (Free agent)
Defenders: Kopano Tseka (Lioli Football club), Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli Football club), Nkau Lerotholi (LMPS), Basia Makepe (LMPS)
Midfielders: Tsepo Toloane (LDF), Tsotleho Jane (Free agent), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu FC), Luciano Matsoso (Black Leopards), Mabuti Potloane (Matlama Football club), Tumelo Khutlang (Black Leopards), Jane Thaba Ntso (Matlama)
Forwards: Masoabi Nkoto (Real Kings FC), Motebang Sera (Matlama), Setho Moshoeshoe (LCS), Thapelo Tale (LCS)
NATIONS CUP QUALIIFIERS FIXTURES
Uganda vs. Lesotho
Lesotho vs. Uganda
Uganda vs. Cape Verde
March 22, 2019:
Tanzania vs. Uganda
GROUP L STANDINGS
Team P W D L F A Pts
Uganda 2 1 1 0 1 0 4
Tanzania 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
Lesotho 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
C. Verde 2 0 1 1 1 2 1