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Mubiru comfortable with Cranes performance despite loss to South Africa

Abdallah Mubiru was the man in charge of the COSAFA Cranes. (PHOTOS/FILE)

The Uganda Cranes team currently in South Africa, was on Tuesday evening eliminated from the 2019 COSAFA Cup.

Despite taking the lead through Dan Sserunkuma at the start of the second half, Abdallah Mubiru’s side conceded a 72nd minutes equalizer and eventually lost 4-2 in the shoot-out, to the hosts.

This was their second penalty shoot-out loss in as many games, having lost to Lesotho on Saturday.

Tuesday’s loss came in the Plate competition one in which the Cranes dropped into following Saturday’s loss.

Despite the defeat to South Africa, head coach Abdallah Mubiru noted that he was impressed by his side’s performance at the end of the day.

“We lost but am not disappointed rather comfortable with the performance of the boys, noted Mubiru.

“They tried to step up our game as compared to the first one and managed to score a goal, something we failed to do against Lesotho.

“We always built from the back which is positive until the last 20 minutes when they pressed us high up the pitch and we decided to use the long ball which in-turn cost us big time because we were easily losing possession and we were punished.

“All in all, i am satisfied as the performance levels improved as compared to the first game.

Uganda dominated both games but kept on missing goal scoring chances.

After taking the lead against South Africa, Police FC striker Juma Balinya wasted a glorious opportunity to win the game as he could only hit the side netting after rounding the goalkeeper.

Uganda’s story at the 2019 COSAFA Cup will always be summed up by the number of goal scoring chances they failed to convert.

The other undoing for the team is their inability to score from the penalty mark as five of their attempted nine spot-kicks were missed in the two defeats.

The Cranes fell short in two consecutive penalty shoot-outs.

However, for Mubiru, he is not concerned as he thinks the team’s main objective has been achieved.

“Our main objective was developing a team for the upcoming CHAN qualifiers.

“After the two games, i think we now have a team in place on which we can build on.

“In football, it is very hard to throw away the luck-factor and in this tournament, we did not have it otherwise we deserved so much more.

“As a coach of this team, i am impressed about what we have achieved despite not being happy because of the loss.

The COSAFA team that featured in South Africa is highly expected to be the one to take on South Sudan in the upcoming CHAN qualifiers.

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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