The Uganda Cranes have won over neutrals at the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with their fearless brand of football.
The side now looks nothing like the one which played conservatively on their way to a group stage elimination in Gabon 2017.
Despite the core of that very team that finished bottom of their group, still starting, they managed to reach the last 16 after winning one and drawing the other of their three games.
As a reward for their showings so far, they were handed a task of trying to shock the football world and eliminate Senegal from the competition when the two sides face off on Friday.
As tough as it may seem, the fearless Cranes will most definitely try and give a good account of themselves, something that is a concern to Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse.
“No one should take the Ugandan team for granted and I will tell my players that because facing them is not an easy task, Cisse noted.
“We need to make sure we prepare well to face Uganda because they have showed since the tournament started that they are here on a serious mission.
“Now its direct elimination, it will be hard, the Ugandan team are the team who have lost the least in the last few years.”
True to Cisse’s word, the senior Cranes side has lost only three competitive games since February 2017.
In that period, the Cranes lost 0-1 to Egypt in a World Cup qualifier, went down 0-3 in an AFCON qualifier against Tanzania and once again lost 0-2 to Egypt last Sunday.
Uganda and Senegal have faced off three times since 2012. Their most recent encounter came in a friendly two years ago, one that Cisse still remembers.
“We played a friendly against them before the world cup and drew 0-0. Continued the former Lions of Teranga captain.
“Everyone said that they were a little team that we should have beaten but I was quick to object as I told them that they were a team who are progressing.”
Senegal are one of the pre-tournament favourites to win the 2019 AFCON but have struggled to some point.
As they progressed through their group, they lost miserably to Algeria in a game that they failed to get started.
However, their other two games resulted in two wins, both coming against Uganda’s East African neighbours. Senegal defeated Tanzania 2-0 and then Kenya 3-0 to finish second in Group C.
The game against Uganda will be played at the Cairo International Airport on Friday night.