AFCON 2019: Cranes have come of age – Onyango

By Clive Kyazze

At this stage in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations then hosted in Gabon, Uganda had lost two games against Ghana and Egypt by a 1-0 margin in both.

Two years later, they have four points in two games with three goals scored, only one conceded and a point away from qualifying for the Round of 16.

Skipper Denis Onyango has put it down to experience and more exposure for the boys especially those who played at the last Nations Cup in Gabon.

“The first AFCON was a challenge for us because we were new on the scene, playing on the continent for the first time for all of us,” Onyango told www.football-256.com on Wednesday.

This was after Cranes one all draw with Zimbabwe at the Cairo International Stadium, a point that put them in touching distance of the knockout stage.

“But this time round, we have the experience and it’s what we share with the new guys and it has helped us get the four points.”

“Knowing the first game was important for us to win, the second was equally important. This is the experience that you get when you have a team with young players and the senior players who can play for each other and get the results,” he added.

Considered by many as Africa’s number one goalkeeper, Onyango pulled off man of the match saves against a Zimbabwean side that exposed Cranes in more than one way.

About making the last 16 and beyond, Onyango thinks the competition is tough but nothing can stop them, especially if they take it one game at a time.

“The competition is tough, we shall take game by game, each team comes with its own challenges, the more we fight, the more we win, the more we get confidence going forward. All in all, we must try to go as far as we can.”

Cranes play Egypt on June 30th needing a draw to advance Egypt won’t be under pressure after defeating DR Congo 2-0, a result that sealed their Round of 16 slot.

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