KAMPALA. There is no love lost between neighbours Rwanda and Uganda - the Cranes players know that pretty well.
The intense football rivalry comes so early for interim coaches Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba, who feel mandated to win the Chan qualification game to disapprove the Doubting Thomases. “Games against Rwanda have never been easy for any coach. Be it foreign or local,” Basena told SCORE
“We have asked players to be focused as we aim to beat Rwanda at home. We have no injury scares in camp and have a lot options in our squad. We want to make the most of everything at our disposal.”
Basena and Kajoba know Rwanda will be targeting an away goal and hope to finish off the contest in Kigali. The Ugandan coaches are however not planning to give the visitors any breathing space.
“Most of our players have been distracted by the ongoing transfer period. But we have asked them to ensure their nation’s progress to the Chan finals and then secure their club future. We must ride on the home advantage and the immense talent we have in our squad to get past this hurdle,” added Basena.
Defenders Savio Kabugo and Nicholas Wadada revealed that all their colleagues want to win the game for the new men in charge.
“We are not thinking about Micho (Sredojevic) any more. All we want to do is give these new coaches victory and make the Ugandans happy,” Wadada, one of the team captains, said.
Wasps head coach Antonio Hey says his boys are excited about the prospect of playing Uganda and are ready to return home with a point in the bag.
“The friendly game we had with South Sudan and the elimination of Tanzania showed that we can take on the best country in East Africa (Uganda),” he said.
Hey refused to read too much into the impact of Micho’s departure. He says his midfield pair of Yannick Mukunzi and Dominique Savio Nshuti will do the job. The overoverall winner between Uganda and Rwanda progress to the Chan finals in Kenya next year.
Uganda Cranes probable XI
Ismail Watenga (gk), Nicholas Wadada, Savio Kabugo, Paul Musamali, Isaac Muleme, Bernard Muwanga (captain), Muzamir Mutyaba, Milton Karisa, Tom Masiko, Moses Waiswa, Derrrick Nsibambi
05/12/15: Uganda 1-0 Rwanda
29/11/13: Uganda 1-0 Rwanda
16/11/13: Uganda 0-0 Rwanda
06/02/13: Rwanda 2-2 Uganda
10/12/11: Rwanda 2-2 Uganda
01/01/09: Uganda 4-0 Rwanda
2018 Chan, Kenya
Uganda vs. Rwanda
St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende