Uganda eager to avoid another day of disarray

Uganda Cranes technical bench. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

The Cranes were early Saturday morning whipped almost at will by Comoros in their first of two friendly matches ahead of World Cup qualification resumption in June

Uganda men's senior national football team coach, Paul Put, is expected to make significant changes when the Cranes wrap up their international break fixtures on Tuesday. 

Defender Nathan Asiimwe, utility player Toby Sibbick - some of the new faces on the team - and goalkeeper Giosue Bellagambi could have some runout after sitting out the weekend action.

Other fairly experienced players such as Milton Karisa and Fahad Bayo, who all started the 4-0 humbling defeat to Comoros early Saturday morning on the bench, are likely to start against Ghana tomorrow evening. 

Tough Ghana test 

Against Ghana, Uganda come up against an equally wounded animal as the Black Stars also lost 2-1 to Nigeria last Friday. 

Jordan Ayew scored Ghana's consolation while Cyriel Dessers and Ademola Lookman netted Nigeria's goals. 

In Marrakech in the wee hours of Saturday morning, two quickfire goals in either half from Comoros double brace heroes Rafiki Saidi and Faiz Selemani had Cranes on the ropes.

In what was Paul Put's only third game as Cranes coach having lost his first and won the other, he started with Tom Ikara in goal but the Bul custodian had a night to forget.

Relentless islanders 

Elvis Bwomono started at right back while Bright Stars' Kaka Omony was handed his debut on the left side of defence.

Experienced duo of Halid Lwaliwa and the day’s captain, Bevis Mugabi, were at the heart of defence but could not contain the relentless islanders. 

Moses Opondo and Kenneth Ssemakula started in front of the back four, with Travis Mutyaba crafting things behind Kitara’s Denis Omedi, Muhammad Shaban and Rogers Mato in attack.

Bayo, Karisa, Steven Mukwala, Ronald Ssekiganda, and new boy Carl James Mujaguzi did have second half cameos but Comoros were just too good. 

The humiliating outing will have left Put with many questions, but some answers, too, you bet. We shall have an idea about that tomorrow.

Put is using these friendlies to prepare for Uganda's Fifa 2026  World Cup qualifying games in June, as well as the upcoming 2025 Afcon qualifiers in September.

Uganda Cranes XI vs Comors: Ikara (GK), Ssemakula, Mugabi, Kaka, Lwaliwa, Bwomono, Opondo, Mato, Shaban, Omedi, Mutyaba

Used Subs: Bayo (Omedi), Karisa (Mato), Mukwala (Shaban), Mujaguzi, Ssekiganda (Bwomono)

Fifa International break (friendlies)

Saturday morning result

Comoros 4-0 Uganda

Tuesday, 7pm

Uganda vs Ghana, Morocco

Fifa 2026 WC Qualifiers

June 2024

Uganda vs. Botswana

Uganda vs. Algeria

*The Africa Zone (CAF) qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup 26 began on November 15, 2023 and will end in November 2025*

Afcon 2025 qualifiers

Preliminary round: March 18-26, 2024

Matchdays 1 and 2: September 2-10, 2024

Matchdays 3 and 4: October 7-15, 2024

Matchdays 5 and 6: November 11-19, 2024