KAMPALA. A goalless draw for a friendly, even though the opponent is 57 places worse off you in the Fifa ranking, might not be a catastrophe.
Yet concerns of the dearth in creativity and shyness in front of goal will continue being raised. And against the Central Asian country and football minnows, Turkmenistan, at New York Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the above scarcity was well manifested.
Juuko red card
Even more concerning for the Cranes must have been Murushid Juuko’s temperament. You cannot help but shake your head in apprehension when your number one central defender, starting alongside possible new partner at Afcon finals in Egypt Timothy Awany, getting a red card - in a friendly!
The Simba defender was showed marching orders in a game only Faruku Miya’s unsuccessful free-kicks, according to Fufa’s Twitter live text commentary, provided highlights.
“Give me every reason to pick you in the final squad,” Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre had challenged his boys ahead of this match and the final friendly against Ivory Coast on June 15.
Chance to impress
“The mind and body of each player in camp must remain focused to make my work very easy when selecting the final 23-man squad next week.” Of course last night claimed some names as Desabre named his final 23 to represent Uganda at their seventh Nations Cup finals.
Allan Kyambadde, Abdu Lumala and Alexis Bakka, who replaced Patrick Kaddu, were all given a chance to impress, with Emmanuel Okwi, Joseph Ochaya coming in for the former two. Nicholas Wadada replaced Bevis Mugabi late on as Godfrey Walusimbi, without a club since January, put in 90 minutes. Hassan Wasswa, another player who has not had competitive football this year, somehow did not play.
Desabre perhaps already trusts his soldier, and could maybe have planned to give him a runout against the Ivory Coast this Saturday.
Robert Odongkara was in goal as Cranes captain Denis Onyango and understudy Salim Jamal sat out this one.
Uganda, who arrive in Cairo on June 17, open their Afcon 2019 campaign five days later against DRC. Their other Group A opponents are Zimbabwe on June 26 and hosts and seven-time champions Egypt four days later.