Uganda Cranes kicked off their 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations in remarkable fashion they defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 at the Cairo international stadium, Egypt on Saturday.
Two set pieces, two headers and two goals, revealed a team that has mastered the art of dead ball situations and it was evident against a high profiled DR Congo side.
Uganda has for a while benefited from setpieces but seeing such happen twice in the same game and at this point of need was precious.
In the early stages of the game, KCCA FC striker Patrick Kaddu brilliantly nodded home Farouk Miya’s corner, his run, time and precision caught the Congo backline completely off target.
One might think Kaddu was born in air but he’s human only that he has continuously scored in the same fashion at both club and national level.
Before the hour mark, Emmanuel Okwi scored the Cranes’ second with a glancing header from Miya’s free kick, assuring the Cranes of their first Nations Cup win since 1978.
With the Uganda Cranes players mastering Desabre’s style of play, scoring from set pieces could have stayed their tradition.
Uganda came into this year’s event as underdogs, they saw, they worked hard and they won the game, which takes them top of Group A.
In a dynamic 4-2-3-1, Uganda played good counter-attacking football giving DR Congo a lot of work to do defensively especially when they were on the back foot with less numbers behind the ball.
Just like Kaddu, Abdul Lumala also announced himself at the big stage in style running at the DR Congo defenders with great pace and agility.
Lumala managed an accuracy of 80 percent with his dribbles, him on the right and Okwi on the left always dropped back to assist the full backs when there was need. The duo gave Uganda width and stretched the opposition at the right flank.
‘TikTok’, just like a wall clock counting seconds, Uganda with ease tried to domoninate possession especially from defense to the midfield.
Their work was cut out once the forwards got involved, something Desabre will need to address moving forward.
Mike Azira and Khalid Aucho gave Uganda cranes the balance as DR Congo rarely found spaces in the final third.
Physicality was the case at right back as the heavy Bevis Mugabi matched and was equal to the challenge with the gigantic, skilled and with high pace Yannick Bolasie until he was rested.
Ever present in office, skipper Dennis Onyango was on top of his game as usual with a number of flash saves denying the efforts of DR Congo.
Desabre and his technical staff had a great game plan for the day and they can build on that ahead of the Wednesday, June 26th game against Zimbabwe at the same venue.