South Sudan joins Cranes in Afcon route

Wednesday October 16 2019

Proud moment. Mckinstry is off to a great

Proud moment. Mckinstry is off to a great start. File Photo 

By Allan Darren Kyeyune

For the second time in a row, Uganda will face a neighbouring country in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Qualification phase after South Sudan joined Group B at the weekend.

Uganda’s northern neighbours are one of the four nations that progressed from the preliminary round after defeating Seychelles 3-1 on aggregate on Sunday.

Following a 2-1 first-leg win in Omudurman, Sudan, South Sudan affirmed their prowess with a 1-0 victory thanks to Joseph Kuch’s 72nd minute winner four days later at the Stade Linité in Victoria.

Only formed in 2011, South Sudan will play in the Afcon Qualifiers’ groups for the second time in a row and now meet the Cranes, Burkina Faso and Malawi.

This is the second time Uganda will face a neighbouring country in the route to Afcon after meeting Tanzania in the 2019 Qualifiers as well as the painful 2012 qualification stage against Kenya.

Cranes, whose new coach Johnny McKinstry got off duty with a 1-0 friendly win away in Ethiopia on Sunday, will host South Sudan on August 31, 2020 and before visiting the Bright Stars eight days later.

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The road to Cameroon however begins next month when Cranes visit Burkina Faso on November 11 before hosting Malawi in Namboole a week laterIt implies Uganda will have faced South Sudan each year at different competitions since beating them 5-1 on aggregate after Paul Mucureezi’s four goals in Micho Sredojevic’s last Cranes’ outing during the 2018 Chan Qualifiers.

Uganda again won 5-1 in Cecafa Championship group contest in 2017 Cecafa Cup in Kenya.

Last November, South Sudan eliminated Uganda 2-1 on aggregate in the first round of the Afcon U23 Qualifiers.

And two months ago at the inaugural Cecafa U15 Championship in Eritrea, Uganda led 5-0 but the encounter stopped in the 55th minute as five South Sudanese had suffered injuries.

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