Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has confirmed that Young Africans SC midfielder Khalid Aucho will captain the team in the World Cup Qualifiers doubleheader against Rwanda with away and home ties scheduled for October 7th and 10th respectively.
The revelation was made on Saturday, October 2, during his media visit to the KFM Sport show in the address to the unforeseen omission of the main skipper Emmanuel Okwi from the 32-man summoned squad.
“I together with my technical team have already decided on who will captain the team against Rwanda and that is Khalid Aucho,” Micho revealed.
“Denis Iguma will deputize him as Taddeo Lwanga, Timothy Awany and other senior players will wait in the same line but I expect all my players to behave as leaders during those two matches and going forward,” he added.
It is important to remember that Aucho wore the armband when the former Al Ittihad striker was substituted in both games and will now be a skipper ahead of the East African battle against the Amavubi Stars.
The 28-year-old will be deputized by KCCA FC defender Denis Iguma who also holds vast experience with the national team given the longevity he has enjoyed since making his debut.
Aucho and Iguma will be looking forward to guiding the Cranes to their first win of the qualification campaign having drawn the opening two encounters with an identical 0-0 scoreline against both Kenya and Mali.
Meanwhile, Okwi-who took over from Denis Onyango did captain the national team during the first two qualifiers against Kenya and Mali was not considered this time round as his quest for a new football club continues.
“We respect Okwi as one of the legends of Ugandan football that’s why we gave him the minutes against both Kenya and Mali.”
“That was to help him find a club but now that he doesn’t have a club yet, we never wanted to summon him without the required fitness,” Micho explained.
Micho’s side will travel to Kigali first in what promises to be an exciting Group E East African derby on Thursday, October 7 before the return leg on Sunday 10 at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
The Cranes currently stand in third position but levelled on two points with second-placed Kenya who have at least scored a goal. Mali are top with four points while Rwanda are rock-bottom with a single point to their name.
The eventual winner from each of the 10 qualifying groups when it’s all said and done will play a two-legged playoff that will have five teams progress to football’s most prestigious tournament in Qatar 2022.
Uganda Cranes Squad
Goalkeepers: Isma Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Charles Lukwago (St George, Ethiopia), Alionzi Nafian (URA, Uganda), Joel Mutakubwa (Express, Uganda)
Defenders: Innocent Wafula (KCCA, Uganda), Paul Willa (Vipers, Uganda), Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Mustafa Kizza (Montreal Impact, Canada), Abdul-Azizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda), Timothy Denis Awany (Ashdod, Israel), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Najib Fesali (URA, Uganda), Geoffrey Wasswa (KCCA, Uganda), Livingstone Mulondo (Vipers, Uganda)
Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Young Africans, Tanzania), Tadeo Lwanga (Simba, Tanzania), Moses Waiswa (Supersport United, South Africa), Mahad Yaya Kakooza (Express, Uganda), Denis Iguma (KCCA, Uganda), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Julius Poloto (KCCA, Uganda), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda), Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA, Uganda), Rogers Mato (KCCA, Uganda)
Forwards: Aziz Fahad Bayo (Ashdod, Israel), Yunus Junior Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Stephen Desse Mukwala (URA, Uganda), Cromwell Rwothomio (URA, Uganda), Sadat Anaku (KCCA, Uganda), Charles Lwanga (KCCA, Uganda)