Thursday September 4 2014

Niger remind Cranes of hard task ahead



While running away with shared spoils is greatly possible, picking maximum points from Kumasi’s Baba Yara Stadium when Uganda face Ghana in the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers on Saturday remains one piece of delicate hope. For now, at least.

Yet after Tuesday’s warm-up match against Niger in the capital Niamey, which Uganda lost 2-0, the already steep West African mountain seems to have added some more feet. What more when your skipper picks up a red card with a minute to play in game long lost in the first half; in a friendly match!

What then should be anticipated in a real competitive match when Andy Mwesigwa comes up against Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew in a stadium Ghana beat Uganda 2-0 in the final of the 1978 Afcon?

Certainly Cranes coach Micho, who saw his side concede two goals in a space of eight minutes in the first half, must be a concerned man. Kamilou Daouda’s long range shot caught goalkeeper Robert Odongkara off guard for the hosts to take the lead before Issiakou Koudizé made sure of Niger’s victory eight minutes later.

Micho will be concerned not just about the discipline, or lack of it – especially when you consider the experience and pace Ghanaians possess; but about failure to find the back of the net - an ill, associated with Uganda’s away struggles.

The Serbian coach had expectations as the team entered a four-day acclimatization camp in Niger on Monday. “We shall attach all the necessary details in Niamey before we fly to Kumasi,” he told us, “We shall have one training session (Monday), then the match.”