KAMPALA. Desperate times have called for desperate measures in the Uganda Sand Cranes team that is preparing to overturn the 3-1 first leg loss to Ivory Coast on Sunday.
Sand Cranes coach Salim Jamal has retrenched most of the defensive minded players to accommodate offensive players that he wants to score goals in Abidjan next Friday in the return leg – if they are to progress.
“The two-goal margin is not that big. I have told the boys that we can score more than two goals at their backyard,” Muwonge told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“We have dropped some defenders from the team (Sand Cranes enter camp in Entebbe today) and we have invited attacking players like Eddie Kityo, Allan Kayiwa and Emma Wasswa who we believe will boost the team’s search for goals.”
Muwonge was no doubt spot on; Sand Cranes lacked the cutting edge in the home defeat, didn’t have intensity in shooting chances and were devoid of creativity - services Galacticals midfielder Kityo offers week-in week-out in the national beach soccer league.
Eric Sidoine Kablan, Daniel N’guessan and Frederic Kablan netted for the visitors at Spennah Beach-Entebbe while Douglas Muganga scored Cranes consolation.
Ivory Coast coach Jean Soro also noted that the tie is far from over.
According to Uganda Beach Soccer Chairman Deo Mutabazi, the team will depart for Ivory Coast on Wednesday with 12 players with a strong conviction of defying the odds of making it to the Afcon finals.
The West Africans, however, have the better culture of beach soccer and will be overwhelming favourites to progress.
The overall winner after the return leg on September 21 in Ivory Coast will qualify for finals scheduled for December 9-14 in Cairo, Egypt.
*Egypt 2018, First Leg, Second
Ivory Coast (3) v (1) Uganda- Abidjan
September 21, Ivory Coast