2021 AFCONQ: Okello, Watambala to start against South Sudan

Midfielders Allan Okello and AbdulKarim Watambala will both make their first starts for the Uganda Cranes when they take on South Sudan in their fourth qualifying game for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Okello and Watambala are part of five changes that Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry has made to his team as he tries to see and improved performance from the team after a laboured 1-0 victory in the first game at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.

Okello impressed when he came on against South Sudan at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende on Thursday and has been rewarded with his first senior start for the Cranes.

Okello has come off the bench for his first two senior appearances but starts ahead of Emmanuel Okwi who is dropped after a poor performance at Kitende.

AbdulKarim Watambala will also be given his full debut with the senior Cranes team. He came on as a late substitute against South Sudan in the first game for Khalid Aucho.

The youngster has been maintained in the starting line up in the place of Mike Azira alongside Aucho who is not fully fit after carrying a knock from the first game.

Disan Galiwango is the one of two forced changes in defence. Halid Lwaliwa who scored the goal that earned the Cranes victory on Thursday is also rewarded with his full debut.  

Lwaliwa came on in the 70th minute for Ronald Mukiibi who limped off with a hamstring problem. Mukiibi is available for the game, but McKinstry will not be taking the risk.

Galiwango who will make his Cranes debut comes in at left back for Joseph Ochaya who is suspended for the game after accumulating two yellow cards in the qualifiers so far.

Galiwango will play in a back four alongside Nicholas Wadada who replaces Elvis Bwomono and the central defensive partnership of Timothy Awany and Halid Lwaliwa.

Cranes captain Denis Onyango starts in goal as always, while, Farouk Miya, and Kizito Luwagga also keep their positions in the team.

Fahad Bayo who was an unused substitute on Thursday has been recalled to the starting line up ahead of Derrick Nsibambi who drops to the bench.

There could be a potential debut for SC Villa midfielder David Owori who was included on the team for the game in the place of Joseph Ochaya.

The Cranes are three points away from securing their third consecutive AFCON qualification, and could seal qualification if they win against South Sudan at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Monday evening, and Burkina Faso win against Malawi.

Uganda Cranes starting XI: Denis Onyango (GK, C), Nicholas Wadada, Disan Galiwango, Timothy Awany, Halid Lwaliwa, Khalid Aucho, AbdulKarim Watambala, Farouk Miya, Fahad Bayo, Kizito Luwagga, Allan Okello

Substitutes: Jamal Salim, Charles Lukwago, Elvis Bwomono, Ronald Mukiibi, Patrick Mbowa, Mike Azira, Shafiq Kagimu, David Owori, Derrick Nsibambi, Edrisa Lubega, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Brian Aheebwa

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