Cranes unfazed by Stallions challenge
Posted Sunday, January 12 2014 at 02:00
CHAN. Uganda Cranes kick off their hunt for the Chan trophy against Burkina Faso Stallions today.
Coaches Micho Sredojevic and Paul Putt have sounded bullish in the lead up to the tournament. Cranes coach Micho is confident his team will fare a lot better than their last appearance in Sudan when the Cranes lost all three games. Putt, meanwhile went even a step further saying his Burkina Faso side is ready to win the tournament.
This evening, the two sides meet in their first game of this year’s Chan tournament, well aware that a win for either side will be a huge step in fulfilling their ambitions for the tournament.
“We have respect for them (Burkina Faso) and they are a team currently on a high having reached the nations’ cup final last year but we never fear any opponent,” Micho said about today’s cranes opponents earlier in the week.
The Cranes played only one build up game winning 3-0 against Mauritania in their three-week training period but the coach believes the preparations have been fine.
“The players are in good physical and mental state and I believe the hard work we have put in will reflect on the pitch,” he said.
Micho is likely to make a number of changes to the team that started against Mauritania with Benjamin Ochan starting in goal a head of clubmate Ali Kimera.
Ochan, the SC Victoria custodian missed the game after getting injured in training ground collision with striker Francis Olaki. Nicholas Wadada is also likely to start at right back having recovered from injury with Isaac Muleme, Savio Kabugo and Richard Kassaga completing the back four.
Hassan Wasswa is also expected to slot in alongside Captain Denis Guma despite Ivan Ntege’s man of the match performance against Mauritania.
Upfront, the Serbian tactician is expected to start with Yunus Sentamu with Vincent Kayizzi , Saidi Kyeyune and Joseph Mpande supporting him in attack.
The Cranes qualified after ejecting Tanzania 4-1 on aggregate face a Burkina Faso side that scrapped through 5-4 on penalities after drawing 1-all with Niger. Burkina Faso will be making its first appearance at the competition.