Basena, Kajoba on litmus as Cranes face Rwanda

  • CHAN 2018 qualifiers First Leg 
  • Saturday August 12, 2017
  • Uganda Vs Rwanda – St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende @ 4pm
© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Moses Basena during Uganda Cranes training ahead of the CHAN qualifiers against Rwandae

Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba will be under scrutiny when Uganda Cranes host Rwanda’s Amavubi in the first leg of the CHAN 2018 qualifiers play off.

The two sides face off on Saturday at St. Mary’s Kitende in what is the first fixture for the national team since the resignation of Serbian, Mulitin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.

Basena and Kajoba, former assistants to the departed Serbian were confirmed as interim for the two games against Rwanda and will also be in charge for the back to back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Egypt.

Speaking in regard to the fixture, Basena says the team in upbeat mood although he thinks Rwanda will be more motivated.

“Truth be told, they must be motivated given we are almost new technical staff,” he said. “But they will be surprised. They are not new opponents so we know what to expect and have prepared for the game in all aspects,” he added.

The fixture will be the first for the national team at the new Kitende stadium but Basena isn’t worried saying the pitch is playable and soft despite not being even.

FUFA Media
The technical officials talk to the Uganda Cranes players on Wednesday

The pitch is playable and soft though not even. But that can’t be an excuse because it’s better than most of the pitches we use in the league and so we are used.

For Antoine Hey, he knows the kind of opposition he expects to face come Saturday.

“We expect a very difficult and hard game,” he said. “The hardest game that we will play so far and we hope for a good result,” he added.

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
Antonie Hey, coach of Rwanda

We expect a tough match against Uganda but they are not unbeatable. We are confident and we are going there with high hopes.

Team News

Uganda Cranes will miss the services of Timothy Awany who is away on trials in South Africa while defender Savio Kabugo suffered a knock in training on Wednesday.

However, the Proline centre back has confirmed his availability revealing he is fine and raring to go.

For Rwanda, they have no injury worries but will miss the services of suspended goalie who accumulated yellow cards.

Players to Watch

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Derrick Nsibambi heads the opener against South Sudan

Derrick Nsibambi – The KCCA striker leads the line for the national team and has proved his worth with the continental outings for the club. He will be tasked to score the important goals for the Cranes.

New Times
Djihad Bizimana (kissing the ground) celebrates as he is joined by the rest of his teammates

Djihad Bizimana – The team captain is the engine and think tanker of the team and if they are to leave Kitende with a result to bank on at home, he must be at his mercurial best.

How will Uganda Cranes line up?

Ismail Watenga is expected to retain his number one shirt despite the presence of Benjamin Ochan who was sidelined in the previous round.

The same is expected at right and left back with Nicholas Wadada and Isaac Muleme.

The question lies at the centre back where Awany is missing thus Bernard Muwanga may be shifted to partner Kabugo.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Bernard Muwanga may shift to centre back

Alternatively, Onduparaka’s Rashid Toha could partner Kabugo – if declared fit by the way.

That also call for changes in midfield although Moses Waiswa is expected to stay but Deus Bukenya (injured before the game against South Sudan) may earn a starting berth as a shield to the back four with Muzamiru Mutyaba playing just behind the lead forward – Derrick Nsibambi.

Shafik Kagimu and Milton Kariisa also have a big chance to keep their slots but there are options in Erisa Ssekisambu and Simon Sserunkuma among others.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Uganda Cranes line-up vs. South Sudan

Uganda Cranes Probable XI

Ismail Watenga (GK), Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Bernard Muwanga, Savio Kabugo, Deus Bukenya, Moses Waiswa, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Shafik Kagimu, Milton Kariisa and Derrick Nsibambi.

The Rwanda Squad

Ndayishimiye Eric, Nzarora Marcel, Kimenyi Yves, Nsabimana Aimable, Rucogoza Aimable, Manzi Thierry, Kayumba Soter, Bishira Latif, Niyonzima Olivier, Mukunzi Yannick, Bizimana Djihad [C], Muhire Kevin, Imanishimwe Emmanuel, Muvandimwe Jean Marie Vianney, Iradukunda Eric, Nshuti Dominique Savio, Mubumbyi Barnabe, Nshimiyimana Amran and Biramahire Abeddy.