As arrangements were being made for the Uganda Cranes friendly games before the 2022 CHAN tournament, head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic knew exactly what he was doing.
The Serbian called for build-up games against Sudan, Cameroon, and Mali emphasizing that the two West African nations would provide lessons about the Cranes’ CHAN Group B opponents of Ivory Coast, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cameroon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and DRC all play a French style of football and the Cranes did well when they drew 1-1 with the former in a friendly played in Tunisia on Thursday.
“We made seven changes from the 2-2 draw against Sudan on Tuesday to manage a lot but at the same time to do a hiding point because Ivory Coast, Senegal, and DRC people have been here watching our game,” Micho told FUFA media after the Cameroon draw.
“So there are certain things we were hiding from them but it has been a game of two halves whereby in the first half we had a moment where we lost concentration and conceded the goal.”
“And then in the second half where we introduced what I would call our starters and we pressed so high and eventually got the free kick in a good position which Moses Waiswa converted.”
Micho also added: “I know that we are still far from getting the best version of ourselves but we are impressed especially knowing that this match against Cameroon was against an African powerhouse.”
“With schooled players who are highly motivated to follow the footsteps of their seniors who play time and again in the Africa Cup of Nations and at times in the World Cup.”
“Practically we have brought ourselves in a position to see how football looks like because Cameroonians are physical, paced, and offer limited space to the opponent compared to what the players experience usually in the Uganda Premier League,” he noted.
Performances like that against Cameroon are a design of Micho’s games plan and more of it will be seen in the final tournament in Algeria starting with the game against DRC on January 14th.
The Pearl of Africa will play another friendly against Mali who are also a good test temperament on Sunday, January 8th.
How Uganda Cranes started against Cameroon
Joel Mutakubwa (GK), James Begisa Penza, Geoffrey Wasswa, Gift Fred, Derrick Ndahiro, Kenneth Ssemakula, Bright Anukani, Karim Watambala, Frank Ssebufu, Titus Ssematimba, Yiga Najib