CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup
Uganda vs Burundi
StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo
Saturday, 07-12-2019 @4pm
LUGOGO – The Uganda men’s football national team-Cranes will be hoping to get their 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup campaign off to a winning start when they take on Burundi at the StarTimes Stadium in Lugogo on Saturday.
The Cranes have been undergoing intense preparations ahead of the tournament, spending over a week in camp and feel they are ready to try and go all the way.
On Friday evening, the technical team headed by head coach Johnathan McKinstry named the final 20-man squad for the tournament, one that did not bring many surprises.
The only noted omission was Vipers SC forward Allan Kayiwa who was left out despite being in the national team set-up consistently for the last couple of engagements.
McKinstry also named Vipers’ Karim Watambala and URA FC’s Joachim Ojera, two young players that will be hoping to make a breakthrough on the regional level during the tournament.
Uganda is the record winners of the competition inspite of the fact that their last title came in 2012, the last edition they hosted.
With the senior national team performing consistently over the past few years, the Cranes are seen as favourites for the title and will need to justify that tag starting with victory in their opening game on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the game, McKinstry noted that his team is ready for the challenge.
‘”We are focused and determined to give our best performance, noted McKinstry.
“All the players are ready physically and mentally.
“Against Burundi, it is not the same game like we recently played against them in the CHAN 2020 qualifiers. This is a different game.”
Uganda has always somehow gotten the better of Burundi in the past.
The Cranes have just eliminated the Swallows from the 2020 CHAN qualifiers, beating them 6-0 on aggregate including a 3-0 victory in the return leg at the StarTimes Stadium.
Against the Swallows in the last five CECAFA meetings, Uganda Cranes has managed to win 3 games, a draw and 1 loss.
When both teams met in the previous CECAFA in 2017 Uganda won 2-1 in a group match. In the same competition both teams shared spoil in a goalless draw during the knockout stage.
The only win for Burundi against Uganda in CECAFA was the 1-0 victory that happened back in December 2011 in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.
After Burundi, Uganda will take on Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, the three other teams that are in Group A.
With Uganda and Burundi in action later in the day, the opening game will see Eritrea and Djibouti face off at 1:30pm at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
The Cranes 20-man Squad for CECAFA 2019
Charles Lukwago (KCCCA FC) and Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume FC)
Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), John Revita (KCCA FC), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC) (Capt), Paul Mbowa (URA FC)
Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Karim Watambala (Vipers SC), Nicolas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC)
Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Viane Sekajugo (Wakiso Giants), Joachiam Ojera (URA FC), Ben Ocen (Police FC), Joel Madondo (Busoga United), Fahad Bayo (Vipers SC), Steven Mukwala (Maroons FC)