Wednesday April 30 2014

Road to Morocco 2015: Who will make the cut?

Defender Nicholas Wadada (orange bib) fights for the ball with striker

Defender Nicholas Wadada (orange bib) fights for the ball with striker Emmanuel Okwi (green bib) during a Cranes training session at Namboole last year. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By Andrew Mwanguhya

KAMPALA- A grueling quarter of the year awaits Uganda when Morocco 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers begin next month.

The Cranes face Madagascar away on May 16-18 before the return leg end month. Mauritania/Equatorial Guinea lurk in the third round, with Ghana, Togo and Guinea waiting in Group E.

Micho Sredojevic names his 30-man-plus provisional squad today and below we zero in on the 23 we think should make the cut.
Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango, Robert Odongkara and Benjamin Ochan Onyango barely got a kick at Black Aces, Sundowns and now Wits. But his experience, as seen in previous campaigns, means he is a must. St George’s Odongkara, Micho’s preferred choice since he came last May, is a no-brainer. Since Chan, SCVU’s Ochan has been impressive for his club and gets the nod.

Defenders: Denis Guma, Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Isinde, Joseph Ochaya, Andy Mwesigwa, Richard Kasagga, Henry Kalungi and Godfrey Walusimbi
Guma has been dependable for SCVU in midfield just like he was at Chan. But he should return to his natural right back, with Vipers’ Wadada as back-up.

St George’s Isinde should continue his partnership with skipper Mwesigwa, who is in rich form for FC Ordabasy. US-based Kalungi and Kira’s Kasagga are the supporting cast. Ochaya is impressing at Asante Kotoko and should deputize Gor Mahia’s Walusimbi at left back.

Midfielders: Tony Mawejje, Khalid Aucho, Geoffrey Kizito, Ivan Ntege, Moses Oloya, Kizito Luwagga, Brian Majwega
Baba Kizito is fresh after finding feet at Gor and should form a holding partnership with Haugesund’s Mawejje.

Portugal-based Kizito Luwagga is a regular at Covilha and his creativity has seen him score five goals this season, with a few assists. He should push Mawejje, who has spent the better part of the year on the bench, to the holding role earlier occupied by Hassan Wasswa.

Wasswa can still make Micho’s provisional squad but does not make our 23 because in the last six months, his only competitive football has come at Chan. He is currently unattached.
Strikers: Geoffrey Massa, Emmanuel Okwi, Hamis Kiiza, Daniel Sserunkuma, Francis Olaki
After recovering from injury, Umony’s 11 goals helped Azam to the Tanzanian league title. Sserunkuma has also proved his worth while Olaki, 12 FSL goals to his name, is our wild card.