Uganda locks horns with Euro quarter-finalists in first buildup match - Latest football news in Uganda
May 26, 2022

Uganda locks horns with Euro quarter-finalists in first buildup match

By Allan Damba
Cranes pose for a team photo before they faced kenya in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers / FUFA Image

In their first match at the Euro-Asia tour, Uganda will take on 2016 European Championship quarter-finalists, Iceland in an international friendly on Wednesday.

The clash, which is the first between the two nations with completely divergent ethnicities, will take centre stage at the Titanic Sports Center in Belek, Turkey.

Uganda are looking to put their AFCON heartache behind them, having failed to qualify for the tournament after back-to-back appearances in the 2017 and 2019 editions.

The Cranes finished third in Group B in the qualifiers, behind Burkina Faso and Malawi, who have already represented in Cameroon.

Besides the AFCON heartbreak, head Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side is as well still nursing wounds of a failed World Cup qualification campaign.

The East African powerhouse finished second in Group E with nine points behind leaders Mali who garnered 16 to sail through to the final playoff.

Micho named a 23-man travelling team that touched base in Turkey on Tuesday morning. It comprises only two foreign based players in goalkeepers Charles Lukwago and Ismail Watenga who feature for St George (Ethiopia) and Chippa United (South Africa) respectively.

Meanwhile, Strakarnir Okkar, as the Icelanders prefer to call themselves, return to action for the first time since wrapping up their own disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign in November 2021.

The Nordic outfit finished second from bottom in Group J with just two wins, four draws and losses apiece, collecting nine points from 10 matches.

Iceland head coach Arnar Vidarsson named a 24-man squad featuring mostly second-string players for the Uganda and South Korea friendlies.

Uganda Cranes squad

Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (Saint George, Ethiopia), Isma Bin Abdul Rashid Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA)

Defenders: Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Innocent Wafula Esimu (KCCA), Abdu Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers SC), Eric Senjobe (Police), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Enock Walusimbi (Express), Kenneth Semakula (Sc Villa)

Midfielders: Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers), George Kasonko (BUL), Ashraf Mugume (KCCA), Bright Anukani (Vipers), Martin Kizza (Express)

Forwards: Kaddu Patrick (Unattached), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers), Milton Karisa (Vipers), Travis Mutyaba (SC Villa), Muhammad Jagason Shaban (Onduparaka), Rogers Mato (KCCA), Steven Mukwala (URA), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers)

Cranes Tour

12th January 2022: Iceland Vs Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

15th January 2022: Botosani Vs Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

18th January 2022: Moldova Vs Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

21st January 2022: Iraq Vs Uganda – Baghdad

27th January 2022: Bahrain Vs Uganda – Bahrain city

28th January 2022: Return to Uganda

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