Soccer

Micho scouts on Uganda Cranes’ next opponents

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Massa (11) heads past Madagascar keeper Robin Rakotonirina to secure Cranes’ 1-0 win on Saturday. photo by Eddie Chicco 

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Posted  Monday, June 2  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

SOCCER. The coach flew to Malabo yesterday to watch Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania - Uganda’s potential opponents in the next round

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Kampala.
Uganda Cranes won a game of football and progressed to the next round; but it is only fair to categorise the display as just an ‘okay’ performance, if not disjointed.

Geoffrey Massa grabbed the all-important goal on 13 minutes, heading in a Kizito Luwagga lofted-in ball from the right to book the Cranes a slot in the final round of the 2015 Nations Cup pre-qualifiers.

Yet the University of Pretoria striker could have easily ended the day with at least five goals had he not missed a first half sitter and other pin-point chances.

The clearances in central defence occupied by skipper Andrew Mwesigwa and Isaac Isinde were often hurried and, bar occasional flashes of promise from Luwagga and Moses Oloya, the midfield offered no new story regarding its known dearth of creativity.

As for Massa’s strike-partner Emmanuel Okwi, it was not clear whether he had attended the match seeing how passive he was.
Refreshingly though it is not lost on the coach and players that they performed below expectations.

“Sometimes in football, one plus one is not equal to two,” argued Micho, who flew out to Malabo yesterday to watch Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania, “We could have won with a bigger margin today.” Uganda meet winner of the tie in the next round. “Forgive the players for the chances they missed,” added Micho, “For they are not in top competitive form. “With my technical team and Fufa we shall make deep critical analysis of problems we had on and off the field. We need to improve.”

Over the years, scarcely in the game has a match winner been vilified as Massa. The striker is calling for patience. “It wasn’t an easy game,” he said, “We scored an early goal and defended well.

We would have scored more but it didn’t happen. “We defended as a team because we were conscious of conceding. We played in a very bad field as the ball was bouncing. People have to understand the team has changed and we are trying to give our best.” Skipper Mwesigwa said: “The most important thing is we have won and advanced to the next stage.”

cranes ratings
STARTING XI: Dennis Onyango (7), Andy Mwesigwa (5.5), Isaac Isinde (6), Brian Majwega (6.5), Dennis Guma (6.5), Khalid Aucho (7), Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito (5.5), Moses Oloya (7), Kizito Luwagga (7.5), Emmanuel Okwi (4), Geoffrey Massa (7)
SUBSTITUTES: Yunus Ssentamu (4), Hamis Kiiza (6), Tonny Mawejje (5)
UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Ismail Watenga, Henry Kalungi, Joseph Ochaya, Daniel Sserunkuma