During the last media briefing before setting off for Kigali, the Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic pledged to deliver positive results in his side’s FIFA World Cup qualification double-header against Rwanda.
The Serbian tactician highlighted the fact that the team was fully prepared and ready to engage their regional neighbours in what promises to be a highly heated and scintillating derby.
“We are looking forward to having positive performances against Rwanda, both in Kigali and at home,” Micho highlighted to the media at FUFA House on Tuesday, October 5th.
“The passion and the patriotism of the players is very high and they are ready to make Ugandans proud,” he added.
“With due respect to Rwanda, our target is to get maximum points from both games, nothing less than that,” he buoyantly asserted.
“After the match with Mali, our foreign based players put themselves in the competitive mode while the local players got a chance to win places in the squad.”
“This they did through playing in four practice matches and have shown the desire to be in the squad. I believe they will deliver.”
The same vows were re-echoed by the now team skipper who also doubles as the Young Africans SC midfielder, Khalid Aucho-who further expressed confidence in the team’s abilities and hard work.
“We are going for nothing less than two wins against the Amavubi Stars. What gives us confidence is the fact that we have played many derbies and won, so the players are ready for Rwanda,” he stated.
“The younger players in the team are like babies taking their first steps to walk. They want to prove a point and are willing to deliver for the Uganda Cranes and make the fans happy,” he confidently noted.
Aucho was also quick to pay tribute to Micho for the belief he has always maintained with young players in a bid to help them better their game.
“The coach gave me a chance to play for the National team when I was really young. It is good he is giving the young players a chance,” he said.
“The senior players on the team will always guide this younger generation but for now, we are only thinking about winning the match against Rwanda,” he summed.
Uganda will jet out to Kigali on Tuesday, October 5th with the first leg encounter scheduled for Thursday, October 7th before returning home at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende against the same opponent three days later.
The Cranes sit third in Group E with two points from two matches whereas Rwanda are rock bottom with just a single point.
Mali lead the group with four points while Kenya, who are tied on equal points with Uganda, sit second thanks to a better goal difference.
Only the winners of the respective ten groups will take part in a two-legged playoff that is geared towards bringing five countries to represent Africa in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Cranes 25 man final squad for Rwanda tie
Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago, Ismail Watenga, and Nafian Alionzi
Defenders: Innocent Wafula, Julius Polooto, Isaac Muleme, Aziz Kayondo, Timothy Awany, Najib Fesali, Enock Walusimbi, Livingstone Mulondo, and Geoffrey Wasswa
Midfielders: Khalid Aucho, Moses Waiswa, Taddeo Lwanga, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Denis Iguma, Shafik Kagimu, Ibrahim Orit, Martin Kizza, and Mustafa Kizza
Forwards: Yunus Sentamu, Cromwell Rwothomio, Steven Mukwala and Fahad Bayo.