Uganda vs Egypt
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Sunday, 30-06-2019 @10pm
The Uganda Cranes are only a point away from reaching the round of 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Sebastian Desabre’s side defeated DR Congo 2-0 in the first leg before hanging on to secure a 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe last Wednesday.
At the kick if a first ball on Sunday, the Cranes need to just avoid defeat to hosts-Egypt so as to reach the knockout stage.
The build up to the game has been dominated by Murushid Juuko’s fitness concerns.
The Simba SC defender missed the draw with Zimbabwe and has only returned to training in the last couple of days.
Juuko’s absence was clearly evident against the Warriors and the Cranes will be hoping he comes back and slot alongside Hassan Wasswa at the heart if the defence.
The clash at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday, is one that would have been beyond Uganda in the past but as per now, everyone is confident the Cranes can get something from it.
Uganda needs only a point to reach the round of 16 but can also seal qualification even if they lose on Sunday night as four best placed third teams will qualify for the knockout stages.
What they are saying ahead of the game
Sebastien Desabre, Cranes head coach
“Its good for us to be here with 4 points before the game against Egypt.
“It is a good opportunity to continue the war and show a good picture of our football.
“We know it is a difficult game for us because Egypt have won 7 of their last 8 games but i think we can be able to repeat the show we put out against DR Congo so as we try and win this game.”
Hassan Wasswa, Cranes defender
“It is a good opportunity to play the host.
“We do not have any pressure because they are the home team and we just have to follow our game plan.
“We are not focusing on any individual players and if we give out best, i am sure we will get a good result.”
Farouk Miya, Cranes forward
“We are all in good shape ahead of the game against Egypt.
“We will take the game like any other but respect the opponents.
“Now that we are in this sort of position, it gives us confidence and motivation and i am sure we can win the game.”
Uganda has taken on Egypt three times in the last three years, winning once and losing twice.
The only AFCON meeting between the two sides saw the Pharaohs require a late El-Said strike propel them to a 1-0 victory over the Cranes in 2017.
Egypt go into the game having already secured qualification to the round of 16 after defeating both Zimbabwe (1-0) and DR Congo (2-0) in their opening two games.
The Pharaohs who have been tipped by many to seal an 8th AFCON title started strongly in two games, scoring all the three goals in the first half.
With preparations for the next round already underway, they are expected to make a few alterations to their starting team.
Mohammad Salah is likely to find himself among the replacements for this game as Walid Soliman, who came off the bench is expected to start on the right.
Arsenal midfielder Muhammed Elneny may also be rested due to the midfielder being one yellow card away from a ban, while Amr Warda remains absent due to a national team suspension.
The other group A game will see DR Congo take on Zimbabwe in a do or die clash.
Congo are bottom of the group with no points, having lost both of their opening games while Zimbabwe are third with just a single point.
The other games to be played on Sunday
-Burundi vs Guinea @7pm
-Madagascar vs Nigeria @7pm
-Mauritania 0-0 Angola
-Cameroon 0-0 Ghana
-Benin 0-0 Guinea-Bissau