Uganda Cranes suffered their first defeat in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Monday against minnows South Sudan with Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry not happy with the performance.
McKinstry who also suffered his first defeat as Cranes coach after 12 games in charge admitted that his side was not good enough in their 1-0 defeat at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
McKinstry admitted that his side did not start the game well, and had an even more difficult task when they went down to 10-men after Khalid Aucho saw red for a tag on Tito Okello in the 30th minute.
Ugandan born striker Tito Okello then scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot five minutes later after Allan Okello fouled Makweth Wol inside the area.
Uganda came close to finding the equaliser, Farouk Miya hitting the crossbar, while Emmanuel Okwi had his goal ruled out for offside.
However, McKinstry felt that his side lacked quality on the ball and did not move the ball quick enough to trouble South Sudan’s defensive setup.
“We weren’t good enough. And I like to take full responsibility for the performance as a coach. But congratulations to South Sudan,” McKinstry said after the game.
“We planned for the game, we trained well, the players and the coaching staff did their best to implement the game plan, but we haven’t been up to par.”
“Before the red card I don’t think we moved the ball fast enough and that was key, but after the red card we had to change things around.”
“And you noticed in the second half we moved to a back three which is something that Uganda has not really played before,” he added.
The Irishman also noted: “The boys did everything they could, obviously hit the crossbar and had a couple of other chances.”
“I am the person that is ultimately responsible for what the players do and I know they work hard to try and put on a show that people want but today we fell short.”
“We have to go back and look at ourselves. If something positive came from this match is that it humbles all of us.”
“We took this match seriously and prepared seriously for it and nobody can say we were casual about it. A result like this is not good enough.”
“We know it was not good enough, and the people back in Uganda deserve an apology and they deserve better,” he added.
The Cranes remain second on the group B log with seven points after four qualifiers while South Sudan picked up their first win in the qualifiers. They remain bottom of the group though.
Meanwhile, Malawi’s draw with Burkina Faso means that Uganda needs at least four points in their last two qualifiers against Burkina Faso and Malawi to seal qualification.
But the Cranes can also qualify if they win over Burkina Faso in their next qualifier due March 2021, and Malawi fails to win against South Sudan.