CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup – Semi Final
Uganda vs Tanzania
StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo
Tuesday, 17-12-2019 @3:45pm
LUGOGO – The Uganda national football team will be attempting to reach a first CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final since 2015 when they face Tanzania on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cranes who lost to 1-0 Ethiopia back then, have been magnificent in the competition so far and topping Group A as a consequence.
They have been arguably the best side throughout the group stages, winning all of their four games whilst scoring 10 goals and conceding just two.
Their last game saw Johnathan McKinstry’s men thrash Djibouti 4-1 despite making several changes to the starting team.
That was not the only game that saw the North Irishman and his technical team rotate the team as they also did likewise in the win over Eritrea too.
On Tuesday, the Cranes are expected to name their strongest side with the likes of Charles Lukwago, Halid Lwaliwa, Mustafa Kizza, Shafick Kagimu, Bright Anukani, Allan Okello and Fahad Bayo getting roles from the start.
Uganda’s last triumph in the competition came in 2012 and they will be hungry to win it again.
However, they will know that they need to be at their best to topple Tanzania, a view that McKinstry also shares.
“Tanzania are very competitive and we know we have to produce our best performance if we are to win tomorrow, noted the North Irishman.
“If we are not at our best, then Tanzania have quality players that can punish us.
“All in all, we are focused on putting up a good performance and hopefully we go through.”
Tanzania have not been at their best so far in the competition as they had to wait for the final round of group games to ensure qualification to the knock-out stage.
A 1-0 loss to Kenya in their opening games was followed with a narrow victory over Zanzibar meaning they had to avoid defeat in their last fixture against Sudan and also pray Zanzibar does not wallop Kenya, to ensure a spot in the last four.
Luckily for them, they drew 0-0 with Sudan and Kenya beat Zanzibar in the other game.
Having scored just a single goal so far, the Kilimanjaro Stars must be concerned about coming up a balanced Ugandan team.
“We respect Uganda as a team and we know they are the host team, said Tanzania head coach Juma Mgunda ahead of the game as quoted by Goal.com.
“I know they start as favourites, but we will fight them until the end, we will not fear them.
“I know their fans will rally behind them but we will give our best to reach the final.”
Tanzania are perennial underachievers in the competition having won it on just six occasions since 1974.
Their last triumph came in 2010 when they beat guests Ivory Coast 1-0 in the final played in Dar es Salaam.
Uganda head into the game as strong favourites but with the way the competition always tends to unfold, anything can indeed happen.
The other Semi-final which will kick-off at 1:30pm on the same day pits Kenya against Eritrea. Kenya reached the semis after topping group B while Eritrea were runners ups in Group A.
Uganda Cranes’ projected line up
Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, Halid Lwaliwa (c), John Revita, Shafick Kagimu, Bright Anukani, Allan Okello, Joel Madondo, Viane Sekajugo, Fahad Bayo.