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SC Villa’s Gift impresses with Uganda Cranes in Cameroon

Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic believes that his boys have benefitted a lot from today international friendly played against DR Congo at Japoma Stadium in Douala Cameroon.

Cranes suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of the Congolese team now handled by former Uganda head coach Sebastian Desabre.

Uganda conceded a first penalty but there were signs of great efforts and improvements as noticed by the coach as he addressed the media during the post-match press conference in a packed room by members of media.

Uganda was on the wrong footing in the first half but returned for the remaining 45 minutes and put up a big show.

Substitutions were made as seven players were given chance to make a productive run out that improved the display in the second half. Substitute Charles Lukwago make a fabulous save midway the second half while Milton Karisa’s attacking efforts were about to pay off but missed a glorious opportunity to level the score.

Uganda will now switch their attention to the AFCON qualifier match against Algeria on Sunday at the same stadium that hosted today’s friendly.

Uganda’s subs made:
In: Wasswa, Mutyaba, Basangwa, Karisa, Waiswa, Ssentamu, Lukwago (GK)
Out; Lwaliwa, Mato, Okwi, Mugulusi, Magoola, Bobosi and Bayo

Post match reactions by Uganda Cranes head coach

Micho on current squad after losing both Joseph Ochaya and Gavin Kizito to injury

We are too late to make any replacements. We are having 21 players, 18 field players and 3 goalkeepers that are ready for the Sunday game. The biggest benefit of today’s game is that we have saved Khalid Aucho who played the Tanzanian Cup on Monday and won. He just arrived today. We didn’t want to use him and take risks.

The second aspect is that we wanted late arrivals of Bobosi from America and Mugulusi from Greece to try and test them in this match. When you look at everything, I am very happy everyone gave their best. We have some hidden cards that we are looking to unleash on Sunday. In other words, we are trying, testing and experimenting in the friendly match the material face of the Uganda Cranes that we shall see on Sunday when we are going in direct competition to fight for our lives, to fight for the points against Algeria.

Micho on Uganda’s chances during the game

We started on a wrong foot. I believe the penalty was not supposed to be there having in mind that the player was falling down and he couldn’t control his movement while going down. It has been decided so I have nothing to complain about that.

We had the biggest chance of first half from the corner kick that had come. We conceded from a penalty. In the second half we were changing the approach understanding that the opponent is building with a box of two defenders and two defensive midfielders and are putting fullbacks high up the field. So, we decided to put players that could exactly hold the ball better like Basangwa. We created unbelievable chances however, we didn’t convert.

Micho says no forgiveness on Sunday

I always like to say, in these games, there is some blessing. It is better to happen today than on Sunday. Now we have critical points to touch in analysis of this match. Today we have tried, tested and experimented but Sunday we are going directly in competition. There is no forgiveness.

Micho says Ochaya and Kizito have been released from camp

Due to the injuries, there is no match that is bigger than the players. Injuries at level call for medical team advice. We shall send them back to their respective clubs in Egypt for recovery. We shall use 18 field players and 3 goalkeepers.

I know that we are carrying on our shoulders so much expectations. I want to take all the pressure away from players. I want them to come and show what they are capable of because we are playing an early final of the African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast against a top-class team, Algeria on Sunday.

There is no better chance than this match to show what is the real character and value of this team despite the fact that we are having several young players that ever in recent history of Uganda Cranes.

After 2006, we have always been candidates up to the last match to qualify and that is a standard we are keeping no matter that we are a team in transition with so many young players. But young players have the greatest chance to go from boys to men with support of a few senior players so that together we cross that line and we qualify for AFCON.