Soccer

Cranes working to fix creative conundrum

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Mutumba was back in the mix, showing his silky skills, during the morning training session at Namboole Stadium yesterday. PHOTO by Eddie Chicco 

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Posted  Friday, May 30  2014 at  12:03

In Summary

SOCCER. Save for occasional well built-up goals through the middle, Uganda’s strikes have mainly come from set-pieces.

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KAMPALA

That Uganda urgently need goals tomorrow cannot be overstated. And that strikers’ job is well cut out can hardly be debated either.

The debate perhaps could be whether they have the necessary boots to execute; even more concernedly, whether the midfield has the needed panache to craft chances for strikers’ execution.

The latter was evidently missing in the 2-1 first leg defeat to Madagascar. It surely should not be the case when the Cranes welcome the Barea needing a 1-0 victory or two-goal margin win to make the final round of the 2015 Nations Cup pre-qualifiers.

Tonny Mawejje’s winner against Liberia, Geoffrey Massa’s net-buster and Emmanuel Okwi’s individual brilliance – both against Congo Brazzaville, are some of the few occasions when the Cranes have had decently constructed goals through the middle. Most of the rest have come from set-pieces and a perennial cross.

Cranes working to better midfield imagination

Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic admits Ugandan midfielders can do better with improvisation going forward.

And the 44-year-old Serbian is hoping the variety of options they have been working on can come through tomorrow.

“We are looking to have the variety of attacks so that whatever the opponent knows about us, we have another option.” Mutumba, Oloya boost

Micho added: “So whether it is to the centre, to the flank, in the space; whether it is to the set-pieces, whether it is in intercepting the ball and outnumbering; all these issues have to be taken into consideration.

“The opponent may close flank, then we attack to the centre, opponent close centre; we attack to the flank, opponent close centre and flank; we attack space, opponent close everything, we look from the set pieces.

“It is the same they will also try. They will try to outnumber us; they will try to get us on the counter. This is something we are trying to work at; to balance defence and attack.”

Meanwhile, creative midfielder Martin Mutumba was back training yesterday after sitting out most of this week with a muscle strain.
Vietnam-based Moses Oloya also trained after arriving on Wednesday, while skipper Andy Mwesigwa was expected in last night.

Madagascar arrived last evening and they will have a feel of the Namboole turf this afternoon.

amwanguhya@ug.nationmedia.com