KAMPALA. Few, if any, expected Uganda Cranes second string side, with a few caps up their sleeves, to defy the odds and win the invitational Cosafa Tourney in South Africa.
At least not even team coach Abdallah Mubiru dreamed that big. Mubiru is however overwhelmed by the team developmental lessons accrued from the tourney.
“I’m not happy that we have not won any game but at the same time I’m not so disappointed because this is a team we are trying to build. For many players, this is their first time to play at international level and we have managed to assess them and we now know what they can do,” he said. His side had laboured to a 0-0 with Lesotho before bowing out on spot kicks at the quarterfinal stage. Lady Lucky didn’t smile Cranes’ way when they lost 4-2 via spot kicks to hosts South Africa in the Cosafa Plate semifinal having managed to draw 1-1 in normal time.
Mubiru thought his team was so close against South Africa but inexperience crept in after they took a lead through Dan Sserunkuma’s marvelous strike to allow the Bafana equalizer late on.
“We we can comfortably say we have a team to start with in Chan we have already introduced ourselves to a style of play whereby the players are willing to use the ball, they have to attack, defend as a team.
“The major weakness is managing the final third and playing with intensity which we can work on,” he revealed. He says they need to work on the players’ nervousness henceforth but he is glad to have served fans in Durban and those watching on Tv ‘entertaining’ football.
“The fans must have been happy going back home because we entertained them.”
As the team returned yesterday afternoon, Mubiru expressed a few regrets but remained thankful for the opportunity.
“Personally, I’m very honoured to have got a chance (to coach Cranes in the Cosafa tourney) to have participated in this competitive tourney. We are satisfied with what we have got and we are sure we have where to start from when building a stronger team.”