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COSAFA Cup: Lesotho stand in way of Cranes semifinal aspirations

The Uganda Cranes start their competition at the quarter final stage. (PHOTOS/FILE)

COSAFA Cup 2019-Quarter Finals

Lesotho vs Uganda

Saturday, 01-06-2019 @4pm

Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu-Durban

DURBAN-SOUTH AFRICA – The Uganda Cranes COSAFA team, have it all to prove on Saturday when they take on Lesotho in the quarter final of the 2019 COSAFA Cup, at the Princess Magogo Stadium.

All the 20 players that are currently in South Africa can be termed as ‘AFCON’ rejects, having failed to squeeze themselves into the squad that is currently camping in Abu Dhabi ahead of the 32nd edition of African football showpiece.

After two weeks of intensive training, the Abdallah Mubiru led team departed for South Africa on Wednesday, where they have had three training sessions.

“We have settled in since we arrived in South Africa, said Cranes coach Abdallah Mubiru ahead of the game.

“The moral is very high, the players are motivated and very cooperative and everyone is looking forward to playing the first game tomorrow (Saturday).

“The good thing is that we have acclimatized to the weather conditions already despite Durban being a bit cold.

Talking about the state of the pitch, Mubiru assured that pitch is good and the boys are ready to do battle.

Mubiru assured that his team is ready for the battle.

“The few days we have been here and the moment we inspected the field, we found out that the pitch is good, the surface is perfect and big enough to accommodate our style of play.

“Everyone wants to play in the game but we all know it is not possible as only 14 can.

“We are just hoping that God is on our side and we pick the result we desire.

It is always a bit complicated starting a tournament at the knock-out stage as other teams are already used to the dynamics having played in the group stages.

The issue will be a challenge to Uganda but the good thing is that Lesotho are also starting at a similar stage.

The Crocodiles have always been one of the average sides in this competition since its inception in 1997.

Their best finish came in 2000 when they lost 3-0 to Zimbabwe in the final of the fourth edition.

Adam Siddom’s side have also finished third (2018) and fourth on two occasions (2013 and 2017).

Match Facts

This is the fifth meeting between Uganda and Lesotho

The Cranes head into the game without losing a game to the Crocodiles, winning three and losing one of the first four match-ups.

Lesotho’s record against Uganda is so horrible as they have never scored a goal against the Cranes whilst conceding 8 in the process.

The two nations were in the same Group in the just concluded AFCON qualifiers with Uganda winning both games with a 5-0 aggregate victory.

The other COSAFA Cup 2018 Quarter finals-Priness Magogo Stadium

Saturday, 01-06-2019

-Zimbabwe vs Comoros @6:30pm

Sunday, 02-06-2019

-South Africa vs Botswana @4pm

-Zambia vs Malawi @6:30pm

The Uganda Cranes squad in South Africa

Players

Goalkeepers

Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC) and James Alitho (URA FC).

Defenders

Paul Patrick Mbowa (URA FC), Paul Willa (Police), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), John Revita (Express FC), Isaac Isinde(Kirinya-Jinja S.S), Hassan Musana (KCCA FC), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC).

Midfielders

Bright Anukani (Proline), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA FC), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Allan Kayiwa (Tooro United FC), Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City FC), Michael Birungi Komunda (Express).

Forwards

Daniel Isiagi Opolot (Al Nasir, Egypt), Juma Balinya (Police FC), Nelson Senkatuka (right Stars FC), Dan Muzeyi Serunkuuma (Vipers SC).

Team Officials

-Leader of Delegation: Richard Ochom
-Team Coordinator: Geofrey Massa
-Head Coach: Abdallah Mubiru
-Assistant Coach: Charles Livingstone Mbabazi
-Goalkeeping coach: Sadiq Wassa
-FUFA Delegate (Kampala Region): Robert Serunjogi
-Team Doctor: Emmanuel Nakabago
-Equipment manager: Frank Bumpejje
-Media Officer: Lawrence Bwanika

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