AFCON 2017: Reality check for Uganda Cranes as they fall to Ivory Coast in friendly

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Ivory Coast 3-0 Uganda Cranes

Uganda Cranes have completed the pre-AFCON warm up games on a rather sour note, falling 3-0 to the reigning African Champions, Ivory Coast at the New York University stadium in Abu Dhabi.

After a solid performance in the opening 45 minutes that witnessed the two sides go into the break goalless,  the West Africans set the ball rolling in the second stanza of the game.

Moments after Moses Oloya had replaced Farouk Miya and goalkeeper Dennis Onyango paved way for Robert Odongkara, Ivory took the lead after 50 minutes.

Jonathan Kodjia had to thank the defenders for the loose marking when powerfully directed a header past Odongkara for the opener.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha outpaced defender Timothy Awany before placing the ball past the advancing goalie for the second 18 minutes to the game eclipse before Serge Aurier capped the icing on the cake with the third three minutes later.

Second half substitute Muhammed Shaban, who replaced skipper Geofrey Massa had an effort go wide of goal with a diving header following a Godfrey Walusimbi cross.

Isaac Isinde came on for Timothy Awany, at the same time Nicholas Wadada replaced Denis Iguma at right back.

Uganda now embarks on the AFCON 2017 trip to Gabon on Thursday ahead of the tournament official kick off ceremony slated for Saturday.

In the United Arab Emirates, Uganda played three other warm up games against Slovenia (won 1-0), Slovakia (won 3-1) and also overcame a local club Masfoot 4-1.

There are plenty of positive cited ahead of the AFCON expedition where Uganda Cranes return after over 39 years.

In Gabon, Uganda will be based in the coastal city of Port Gentil alongside record tournament winners Egypt, Ghana and Mali in Group D.

Uganda Cranes XI:

Dennis Onyango (G.K), Dennis Iguma, Joseph Ochaya, Hassan Wasswa, Timothy Awany, Tonny Mawejje, Faruku Miya, Geofrey Kizito, William Luwagga Kizito, Michael Azira, Geofrey Massa (Captain)