Saturday September 8 2018

Five key battles that may decide Cranes, Stars tie

The nation’s pride: The Uganda Cranes starting

The nation’s pride: The Uganda Cranes starting line-up in a past fixture  

By DENIS BBOSA

KAMPALA.

Although Uganda Cranes gaffer Sebastien Desabre and his Tanzanian counterpart Emmanuel Amunike are yet to display their starting line ups, there are exciting battles expected to have a huge bearing in today’s Afcon qualifying clash at Namboole. Here-in, Score Magazine gives a cursory look at the five most anticipated battles that may shape the destiny of the tie.

Mbwana Samatta vs Murushid Jjuko
The Genk lethal forward is the shining star in the Taifa Stars’ side that seeks its first win in the group. His displays at Simba and TP Mazembe compelled Beligium side Genk to recruit him and last week, he partly repaid their faith by banging a hat-trick against Brondby in the Europa League. That doesn’t make Cranes defender Murushid Jjuko who plies his trade at Simba fret a bit. He has promised to silence him like he has done to Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor and the Ghanaian Ayew brothers.

Shomari Kapombe vs Emma Okwir
The former Azam, Morogoro and Cannes versatile midfielder will be tasked to monitor Simba teammate Emma Okwi. Kapombe has experience and agility which makes his confrontation with Okwi, who netted 20 league goals last season, a must watch.

Hamid Mao vs Farouk Miya
Desabre expects Farouk Miya to be the link between the midfield and attack which ultimately thrusts him into Hamid Mao’s path. The Azam defensive midfielder is excellent at man marking yet Miya, enjoying a renaissance in Croatia, can be unstoppable when in full flow.

Saimon Msuva vs Hassan Wasswa
Depending on where Desabre employs Hassan Wasswa – midfield or centre back, there is a high likelihood that he will clash with Tanzanian centre forward Saimon Msuva. Now at Moroccan side Difaa El Jadida, the former Yanga star is expected to partner with Samatta and brew trouble for Wasswa.

John Bocco vs Timothy Awany
The two are still subject to selection by their respective coaches but expect it tough if the two get playing time. Awany’s game has grown in leaps and bounds over the last three years thanks to involvement in the Caf Champions League and Bocco, his gangly flame apart, his another forward defenders dread to meet.

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