December 9, 2021

Regional Tour: Micho admits Namaisi’s long throws threatened Cranes

By Baron Kironde
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Steven Namaisi (kneeling extreme left) posing for a Kataka FC group photo at the Mbale Municipal Stadium / FUFA Image

Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has acknowledged that picking up a win in the Eastern Regional tour on Saturday in Mbale was not a walk in the park.

Micho noted that the hosts were so resistant to be penetrated but specifically pointed out the long throws from the opponents as the only real threat the Uganda Cranes had to deal with.

Each time the ball crossed the sidelines in the opponent’s half for the home side’s throw in, Kataka’s Steven Namaisi stepped up and that is how he stole the show because that quite happened so many times played at the Mbale Municipal Stadium.

Namaisi, who started and finished in right back position for the Eastern Region select routinely moved from the right to the left and so on to take ridiculously very long, yet perfect throw-ins straight to the opponent’s box.

“It was quite hard to defend the opponent’s long throws, that was the only real threat we faced,” Micho admitted after the game.

“The conditions of the (now re-greened) Mbale Stadium are better than in 2015 (when Cranes last visited), but the pitch was a bit bumpy, making it hard to play smoothly,” he noted.

“We also need to understand the fact that our opponents were a bit hard to break in the first half. They were so resistant for the opening minutes,” Micho stressed.

The Cranes, eventually through URA forward Joachim Ojera who headed in from a deflected ball got a slim one-nil win against the Eastern Region select team at the Mbale Municipal Stadium.

Micho believes the Eastern Region Tour, viewed as the first phase of the Cranes preparations for the double encounter against Rwanda was in equal measure regarded a big success.

Micho is set to select a final team of local based players for the task, after the Uganda Cup final on Sunday between Vipers and Express who both traditionally contribute to a number of national team players.

Then, the professional players will join in later for the final Cranes squad to face Rwanda away on 7th October and at home on 10th October 2021 in group E World Cup Qualifier matches.

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