AFCON 2017 QUALIFIERS
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Uganda vs Burkina Faso, 7pm
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Match Tickets: Shs20,000 (Ordinary), Shs50,000 (VIP), Shs120,000 (VVIP)
The stage is set and the teams are ready to tussle. What is at stake is the three crucial points.
Whoever takes them will have done themselves a huge favour in the duo’s quest to qualify for Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Uganda, Burkina Faso and Botswana are all tied on six points apiece. Botswana, who beat the other Group D team, Comoros, 2-1 on Sunday, have, however, played one match more than Uganda and Burkina Faso.
The Cranes and Stallions face off on Tuesday night at Namboole, three days after Burkina Faso beat the Uganda 1-0 in Ouagadougou, with each desperately looking to claim the three points.
Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic knows what is at stake and says that every one of the remaining three matches; two at home against Burkina Faso and Comoros and one away to Botswana will all be approached as if they were their last.
“The game tomorrow (Tuesday) especially is like a cup final,” Micho told upl.co.ug, “We shall squeeze from every player the remaining energy to see that we get the result we need.”
Yet the Serbian coach still has concerns about how his players will respond to the long trip from Ouagadougou.
While Burkina Faso came by chartered flight a day before the Cranes arrival, the Ugandan team did not touch down at Entebbe Airport until the wee hours of Monday morning.
“It’s tough on us but we shall not be crybabies,” said Micho, his disgust at the situation hard to hide.
“I believe in the strong character of our players and work we are doing to be mentally strong, physically fit and technically-tactically effective.”
The Cranes had their final training session on Monday night under Namboole floodlights. All players left unscathed.
Micho is expected to make at least two changes from the team that started in Ouagadougou, with Khalid Aucho most likely to make way for Michael Azira, and Hamis Kiiza or Emmanuel Okwi coming in for Godfrey Walusimbi.
Scorer of the winner against Uganda on Saturday, Jonathan Pitroipa is again expected to be at the forefront for the Stallions, with Chelsea’s Bertrand Traore also raring to go.
Uganda probable XI: Dennis Onyango, Denis Guma, Joseph Ochaya, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Tony Mawejje, Michael Azira, Kizito Luwagga, Farouk Miya, Geoffrey Massa (C), Hamis Kiiza
Substitutes: Robert Ondongkara, Hassan Wasswa, Timothy Awany, Khalid Aucho, Moses Oloya, Godfrey Walusimbi, Emmanuel Okwi
Burkina Faso vs Uganda on March 26, 2016 Dauda Diakite, Steeve Farid Yago, Bakary Kone, Bakary Sare, Prejuce Nakouma, Abdou Razack Traore, Jonathan Pitroipa, Bertrand Traore, Issoufou Traore, Issoufou Dayo, Aristide Bance, Charles Kabore
Substitutes: Yacouba Coulibaly, Banou Diawara, Patrick Arnaud Malo, Alain Sibiri Traore, Adama Gura, Koffi Kouakou Herve, Jonathan Sunday Zongo