Uganda National U20 men’s football team interim head coach, Jackson Mayanja has asserted his goal of hitting the Indonesia 2023 World Cup.
The motormouthed tactician made the remarks in the wake of the Hippos’ qualification to the 2023 Egypt AFCON, at the expense of Sudan.
Mayanja’s charges beat the Sudanese 2-0 in the semi-finals of the CECAFA Zonal Qualifiers, but he insists that was just the first step of his primary target.
“We were not only playing for CECAFA,” he stated in the post-match press conference at the Kober Stadium on Tuesday.
“From the start, I told my boys we want to go to the World Cup, not the CECAFA so they knew from Kampala what the target was.”
Rogers Torach and Isma Mugulusi were on target to not only send the Hippos to Egypt but also to the final of the Zonal Tournament.
However, Mayanja isn’t bothered about winning the Cup, but preparing a team that will excel in the AFCON and probably make it to the global stage.
“We are now in the AFCON and it doesn’t matter whether we lose the Cup or not. We now want to fight for the AFCON.”
“After the AFCON fight, we know we can go to the World Cup. This success is because of the target that we set, so we knew we had to qualify,” he added.
Mayanja also cursed the fact that a host of his players tested for COVID-19 and missed the match, which he says affected his intended style of play.
“Today, we didn’t play tiki-taka because five of our starting players had tested for COVID, and it affected us in our style.”
“We then changed tactics and made it difficult for Sudan to penetrate through us, as we waited for our moments which we took well.”
Uganda will take on South Sudan in the final on Friday at the Kober Stadium. The latter eliminated Ethiopia after a 4-2 penalty shootout victory, following a two-all stalemate after normal time.
How Uganda lined up
Starting XI: Abdu Magada (GK), Justin Opiro, Ibrahim Juma, Ronald Madoi, Frank Katongole, Rogers Torach, Rogers Mugisha, Isma Mugulusi ©, Titus Ssematimba, Umar Lutalo, Issa Bugembe
Substitutions: Shamuran Kamya, Muhammed Nsereko, Denis Senyondwa, Thomas Kakaire, Simon Mukisa, Allan Kiggundu, Marvin Nyanzi, Faisal Wabyoona, Samson Kasozi.