Uganda Cranes goalkeeper and captain, Denis Onyango has revealed that the Cranes will be determined to maintain their unbeaten run in the Total 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they meet Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on 24 March.
The Emmanuel Amunike coached side has no option other than getting three points from their last match of the campaign and pray that Cape Verde can stop Lesotho from winning if they are to qualify from Group L for this year’s finals in Egypt.
Uganda have already qualified for the finals as Group L winners with 13 points, while Lesotho and Tanzania are on five points, Cape Verde is on four, all the three teams have a chance to qualify for the tournament as the second-best team from the group.
“We are going to Tanzania with a serious mission to win. We know they need a victory to qualify, but we are determined to keep our unbeaten run in the qualifiers,” Onyango told BBC Sport.
“It is going to be an explosive game because Tanzania are hosts and they need the win more than we do since we have already qualified, but beating them in Dar es Salaam will mean a lot,” he added.
‘Mr. Safe Hands’ as nicknamed by Ugandans, guided Sundowns to the quarterfinals of the 2018/2019 Total CAF Champions League quarter-final as his side defeated Lobi Stars 3-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Onyango has kept a clean sheet in all five of Uganda’s 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers and he wants that to continue.
“I want to make history by not conceding a goal in the qualifiers because that means a lot for me.”
“But it is not always easy playing against Tanzania because they know us well and that perhaps explains why we even drew 0-0 in Kampala in the first leg,” Onyango added.
Tanzania have not been at the AFCON finals since 1980 and a ticket to Egypt will see them and Uganda join Burundi as the other East African nation to qualify for the tournament.
The 31 local based players to start training on Monday: Sebwato Nicholas (Onduparaka Fc), Saidi Keni (Sc Villa), James Alitho (URA FC), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC), Obenchan Filbert (KCCA FC), Wila Paul (Police FC), Samson Mutyaba (Maroons FC), Kizza Mustafa (KCCA FC), Majwega Brian (Maroons FC), Godfrey Walusimbi (Unattached), Timothy Awanyi (KCCA FC), Mbowa Paul Baker (URA FC), Mujuzi Musitafa (Proline FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Rashid Toha ( Onduparaka FC), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Unattached), Sadam Juma (KCCA FC), Eyam Ivan (Mbarara City FC), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC), Okello Allan (KCCA FC), Waisswa Moses (Vipers SC), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Owori David (Sc Villa), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA FC), Micheal Birungi (Express FC), Poloto Julius (KCCA C), Balinya Juma (Police FC), Serunkuma Daniel (Vipers SC), Kaddu Henry (KCCA FC), Madondo Joel (K-Jinja SS), Bashir Mutanda (Sc Villa)
The 15 foreign based players Summoned for camp in Cairo,Egypt: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilah Omdruman, Sudan), Robert Odongkara ( Adama City FC, Ethiopia), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Chrysostom Ntambi (Coffee FC, Ethiopia), Nicolas Wadada Azam FC, Tanzania), Herbert Bockhorn (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Moses Opondo (VendsysselFF, Denmark), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India), Faruku Miya (Gorica, Croatia), Edris Lubega (SV Reid, Austria), Emma Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Muhammad Shaban (Raja Casablanca, Morocco)
Uganda Cranes Training programme
- March 11th -15th training at Lugogo (Local based players)
- March 13th – FUFA Press Conference at 12.30pm- Uganda Cranes coach addresses media at Lugogo
- March 16th- Regional Tour match: Uganda Cranes vs Kampala Regional Select team, 9 players will be selected from this local camp to join the 15 foreign based players in Cairo.
- March 17th-Uganda Cranes Squad flies to Cairo for residential camp
- March 18th-22nd – (24 man Uganda Cranes Squad camp in Cairo, Egypt)
- March 23rd – (24 man Uganda Cranes Squad flies to Tanzania)
- March 24th Tanzania vs Uganda (AFCON Qualifier in Dar es Salaam)