Micho Sredojevic, the Uganda Cranes coach, steered clear of vengeance in his pre-match talk, insisting the friendly against Zambia was one to gauge his squad ahead of the 2015 Nations Cup qualifying preliminaries in May.
“We are not here for revenge,” he said, “I (just) want to test my players.”
He did test them with four second half substitutions; with Hamis Kiiza – who replaced Yanga teammate Emmanuel Okwi - scoring Cranes only goal as they surrendered the lead to lose to Zambia 2-1 on Wednesday. Nkana striker Evans Kanga scored Zambia’s goals.
Micho also handed Denis Onyango an outing after the South Africa based goalkeeper was kept out by Robert Odongkara and injury in the final three World Cup qualifiers, with the latter conceding twice after recess.
Francis Olaki, who had an impressive cameo at Chan, was also given a run-out, replacing Moses Oloya while Sula Matovu, who has not been involved with Cranes recently, coming on for Gor Mahia striker Daniel Sserunkuma.
While the Cranes had their fair share of chances, it is the hosts that enjoyed a lion’s share of proceedings which saw them continue Uganda’s poor fortunes on Zambian soil
The Cranes have beaten the Chipolopolo on Zambia’s soil only once, a 1-0 Cecafa group stage victory when they hosted it in 1975.
The other six Cranes visits including the 1976 and 2013 African Cup of Nations, 1988 Olympic Games and 1978 and 1978 World Cup qualifiers and Wednesday’s friendly have all been defeats.
Uganda still await next month’s 2015 Afcon qualifying draw to know their preliminaries opponents, with ties to be played in May. Winners from the two-legged preliminaries will join the rest in seven groups of four teams in September.
Uganda Cranes Line Up:
Denis Onyango (Robert Odongkara) , Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Isaac Isinde, Andy Mwesigwa, Denis Guma, Khalid Aucho, Moses Oloya (Francis Olaki), Geoffrey Kizito, Daniel Sserunkuma (Sula Matovu)and Emma Okwi (Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza)
Unused subs: Richard Kasagga, Boban Zirintusa.
Zambia Line Up:
Kennedy Mweene (Joshua Titima), Rodrick Kabwe (Emmanuel Mbola), Stopilla Sunzu, Bronson Chama, Davies Nkausu, Chisamba Lungu, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba, Christopher Katongo, Emmanuel Mayuka (Moses Phiri), Rodger Kola (Evans Kangwa)