FOOTBALL–As expected, Uganda Cranes squad of 25 players has been trimmed to 23 by head coach Sebastian Desabre with two days to the start of the tournament.
The two unfortunate members of the playing stuff are Viper’s and ex-KCCA FC star midfielder Tom Matsiko plus teenager Mustapha Kizza.
Matsiko comes as a surprise for many having been in the Cranes set up for a while and although he has not had a stellar season so far in the league, his quality is surely not in question.
For Defender Mustapha Kizza, it is understandable to a certain extent as he is even yet to have his competitive debut for the senior national team despite impressing in the first half of the season with his club KCCA FC this season thus leading the assist charts with eight.
This comes after the team lost 1-0 to Congo Brazzaville in their second build up game before the start of CHAN 2018 meaning that Uganda are winless in the two build up games after drawing 1-1 with Guinea on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Cranes Coach Sebastian Desabre claimed the he is in position to choose the list of players to use despite seeing some of them for a limited time.
“I have seen some of the players for a small period of time on the field of play,” Desabre said.
Desebre has had just over two week with the team in preparation for the tournament but believes they are now set for the tournament.
“Today we played well against Congo and we were able to create some decent goal scoring chances especially in the second half like it was in the first game in Saturday. Continued Desabre after the game.
“It was always going to be difficult for us against them (Congo) but they have helped us prepare well and now i think we just need to rest and get ready for the first game.
Uganda will be in action in Saturday in their first game of the tournament as they tussle it out with Zambia after the tournament kicks off the day before.
Uganda’s group games at CHAN 18.
Uganda vs Zambia – 14/01/17
Uganda vs Namibia – 17/01/17
Uganda vs Ivory Coast – 22/01/17
The final 23 man squad for the Cranes.
Ochan Benjamin, Ismael Watenga, Saidi Keni
Nicholas Wadada, Joseph Nsubuga, Timothy Awany, Bernard Muwanga, Mustapha Mujjuzi, Aggrey Madoi, Isaac Muleme.
Milton Karisa, Paul Mucurezi, Allan Kyambadde, Seif Batte, Rahmat Senfuka, Abubaker Kasule, Tadeo Lwanga, Moses Waisswa, Saddam Juma, Muzamil Mutyaba.
Shaban Muhammad, Derrick Nsibambi , Nelson Senkatuka.