Thursday December 13 2012

Uganda Cranes look to build on Cecafa crust

Cranes players on the podium after dominating all awards of the 2012 Cecafa tournament that ended last weekend.

Cranes players on the podium after dominating all awards of the 2012 Cecafa tournament that ended last weekend. photo by Ismail Kezaala. 



Many a time Uganda have won the Cecafa Challenge Cup but unfortunately that has been as far as the story.
Actually, as we reported this week, while Uganda have won six Cecafa titles since 2000, it’s Sudan (twice), Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia from the region that have instead qualified for the Nations Cup during that period.

That poor run could have ended on the last day in the last two campaigns but Cranes failed against Kenya last year and could not convert more penalty kicks than Zambia this year in the 8-9 shoot-out loss. Normal time had ended 1-0 in favour of Uganda.

But Bobby insists bad luck has played into their way in recent campaigns but the display, especially against the African champions, Zambia, shows signs of growing maturity. “We went too far away against Zambia and penalty kicks can prove that we are capable against any country on this continent,” argued the Scot at the Fufa weekly news conference in Mengo yesterday.

Bobby was quick to add that the just ended Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup, which Cranes won to make it an unprecedented 13 titles, had a lot of positives which they must build on without altering the team set-up.

“I don’t believe we should throw four years of hard work away,” explained the Scot, who was winning his fourth Cecafa title in as many years in charge at the Cranes helm. “This tournament (Cecafa) was to prove how hard these boys can go and many of them have impressed us.

Baba Kizito
“Their work ethic and reaction without the ball was positive. With all the talent in this country and hard work they will get far. I can guarantee that.” Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito saw his star improve during the tournament, putting some virtuoso performances in the midfield while Moses Oloya was at times too cryptic for his markers in the free role or on the right flank.

URA’s Saidi Kyeyune also impressed when he played, his recital in the 4-0 thrashing of South Sudan in which he scored one and set up three particularly stood out.

“We have many good midfielders in Ochan (Patrick), Mudde (Musa), Mawejje (Tonny) and this tournament has proved that we could also have enough backup in Kyeyune, Kizito. “(We also have defenders) Guma (Denis) Wadada (Nicholas), these are players who can come in if Masaba (Simeon) can’t be available.” The coach’s immediate task now is to prepare a team for Chan.