FOOTBALL–With the all or nothing tie against Ghana just over 24 hours away from kickoff, Cranes and Lusaka Dynamos left back Joseph Ochaya is optmistic Uganda will go on to achive world cup qualification.
The 23-year-old who is capped 33 times for the senior national team side is hoping to be part of another history making chapter in Ugandan football after being part of the team that represented Uganda at the African cup of nations earlier this year in Gabon breaking a 39 year wait.
With Uganda never qualifying for the World cup before, the former Navibank Saigon, Assante Kotoko and KCCA FC defender hopes that this is the year(next) that Uganda represents Africa at the show piece of world football.
“Yes Ghana is going to cause us problems inside out like they have always done in the past. The biggest factor here is that we have played them on several occassions and we hope to use that in our favour to try and get all three points on Saturday,” Ochaya said.
Saturday’s meeting will be the fifth between the Cranes and Black Stars in just over three years with each team winning once and drawing twice in the past four ties.
Ghana’s only win in that period came in the very last meeting of the side at the AFCON tournament early this year in Gabon as an Andre Ayew penalty in the 32nd minute proved to be the difference after 90 minutes.
Uganda hosted and defeated Ghana at Namboole in the Equatoria Guinea 2015 AFCON qualifiers 1-0 the last time the Black Stars where in Kampala.
Proline defender Savio Kabugo scored the solitary goal on 10 minutes via a powerful header from a Godfry Walusimbi corner.
“If we defeat Ghana on Saturday, they will be out of contention and come thier last group game at home to Egypt, they(Ghana) will not let Egypt beat them at home which plays in our favor as we will only require a win away to Congo Brazzaville to qualify,” Ochaya added.
On Saturday, Ghana who are four points off the pace need to better Egypt’s result as the Pharaohs host Congo Brazzaville, to still stand a chance of progression to Russia 2018 but anything short of that will see the Black Stars out of contention.
With Uganda only two points behind Egypt, the Cranes will need to much or better Egypt’s result this weekend and then require all three points away to Congo and hope Ghana can defeat the Pharaohs when the two teams lock horns in Tamale on match day six.
Ghana arrived in Kampala last night and will have a training session at Namboole this evening ahead of tomorrow’s game.