KAMPALA- Cranes coach Moses Basena and Uganda will look back at their World Cup qualification campaign and pat themselves on the back.
The Cranes completed their 2018 campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Congo in Brazzaville on Sunday thanks to Milton Karisa’s leveller.
Karisa, starting his first game for the senior Cranes, repaid Basena’s faith by equalizing a minute within Marvin Baudry’s 10th minute opener for Congo to ensure Uganda end with respect intact.
Nine points - three goals scored against two, with only eventual Group E winners Egypt beating Uganda, this was hardly a shabby show for a country that was unfancied against seasoned campaigners.
Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Nigeria are the five that emerged deserving representatives for Africa at the World Cup in Russia in June next year.
The first half in Brazzaville had the Cranes lose several first balls, one of them seeing Thievy Bifouma miss by a whisker, but Basena’s men held it out into the break.
Basena sought to freshen up things after recess, Derrick Nsibambi and Allan Kyambadde replacing Sserunkuma and Muzamir Mutyaba respectively.
However, it was the hosts that put up sustained push for a winner, with Uganda having occasional breaks.
But skipper Denis Onyango and company held on for a point.
Uganda Cranes XI:
Denis Onyango (GK), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Isaac Isinde (Tom Masiko) , Murushid Jjuuko, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Dennis Iguma, Muzamiru Mutyaba (Allan Kyambadde), Milton Karisa, Geofrey Sserunkuma (Derrick Nsibambi) , Isaac Muleme
Unsused subs: Ismael Watenga, Benjamin Ochan (Goalkeepers), Nelson Senkatuka, Paul Mucureezi, Benard Muwanga, Timothy Awanyi,