KAMPALA. As Uganda gauged themselves against 2015 African champions Ivory Coast in Abu Dhabi yesterday, Egypt had already got more feel of what to expect when they face the Cranes again.
Ahmed Elmohamady’s second half goal downed Tanzania in Egypt’s first of two friendly games, with the Pharaohs using the East Africans to prepare for Uganda.
The Cranes and Egypt are pooled in Group A, with DRC and Zimbabwe completing the lot.
Of course Egypt and Uganda are not strangers, the two having met three times in the last three years, with the Cranes winning one and losing two.
But with Tanzania the most recent high profile match involving Uganda - where the Taifa Stars dismissed their neighbours 3-0 in March, the Pharaohs thought it wise to face coach Emmanuel Amunike’s side.
However, like Uganda against Turkmenistan, coach Javier Aguirre’s Egypt were unconvincing at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium.
Aguirre rested Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who joined up with the team later than their teammates because of their European commitments.
The Pharaohs next face Guinea tonight before kicking off their Nations Cup campaign against Zimbabwe at Cairo Stadium on 21 June.
Yesterday’s friendly against Ivory Coast was Uganda’s final before the Cranes arrive in Cairo tomorrow ahead of their Afcon opener against DRC on Saturday.
“I have asked my boys to take the chance to show that Uganda is a good team and we have good players,” said Uganda coach Sebastien Desabre.
Egypt and Uganda come face to face in one of the groups final matches at Cairo International Stadium on June 30.
Uganda Cranes squad for Egypt Afcon 2019
Denis Onyango (18), Jamal Salim Magoola (19), Robert Odongkara (1), Murushid Jjuuko (4), Bevis Mugabi (5), Isaac Muleme (20), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (16), Wakiro Nico Wadada (14), Joseph Benson Ochaya (2), Timothy Denis Awanyi (3), Godfrey Walusimbi (15), Ronald Mukiibi (12), William Kizito Luwagga (10), Khalid Aucho (8), Mike Azira (23), Faruku Miya (17), Tadeo Lwanga (6), Allan Kateregga (13), Lumala Abdu (22), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (7), Patrick Henry Kaddu (9), Derrick Nsibambi (11) and Allan Kyambadde (21).
A: Egypt , DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, S. Africa, Namibia
E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau
June 22: Uganda vs DR Congo, Cairo
June 26: Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Cairo
June 30: Egypt vs. Uganda, Cairo
Uganda Cranes 0-0 Turkmenistan
Egypt 1-0 Tanzania (Wed)
***In bracket are shirt numbers***