The Uganda Cranes Kick Off the World Cup Qualifiers Today Against Kenya

The Uganda Cranes Kick Off the World Cup Qualifiers Today Against Kenya

By Simon Abaho

After the AFCON despair, Uganda will today, Thursday kick off its quest for an appearance at the world’s most prestigious tournament when they play Kenya in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a game to be played in Nyayo.

The game to be played at 4pm will see the two neighbouring countries play each other for the umpteenth time but the first in World Cup qualifiers as they open their accounts in group E .

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Speaking ahead of the game, Cranes coach, Milutin Sredjovic Micho said his boys are ready for the Thursday afternoon encounter at the Nyayo stadium.

“Our opponents on Thursday come in with an advantage because their season has just concluded but we have also prepared well despite the limited time we had and shall be a competitive team. We are going to give this campaign our very best starting with the first game against Kenya,”Micho said.

The Serbian tactician insists this is Uganda’s best chance to qualify for the most prestigious tournament in the world.

For the team captain, Emma Okwi, the boys are ready to give their all as they battle Kenya’s Harambe stars.

“The game against Kenya is a huge one because first of all it is a derby and it begins our quest for a place at World Cup so we shall give it our all. We want to win and make Ugandans proud,” Okwi said ahead of the game.

The Thursday game will be the 10th encounter between the two neighboring and friendly East African countries as each of them seeks to establish itself as the biggest football nation in the region.

The game will also be the first major one since the retirement of Cranes captain Denis Onyango and a host of other senior players including Mike Azira and Hassan Wasswa and the Ugandan national team will seek to adapt to life without the trio that has been a mainstay for over a decade.

The team will however seek to make use of new blood to steer the ship in a game to be played behind closed doors.

Uganda is in group E of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers alongside neighbors Kenya, Rwanda and Mali.

Mali are now top of the group with three points after beating Rwanda, one-nil in a game played in Bamako on Wednesday.

Cranes squad: Charles Lukwago, Joel Mutakubwa, Enock Walusimbi, Innocent Esimu Wafula, Abdu Aziizi Kayondo, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Gavin Mugweri Kizito, Kenneth Ssemakula, Denis Iguma, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Ibrahim Orit, Milton Karisa, Steven Dese Mukwala, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Captain), Richard Basangwa, Yunus Junior Sentamu, Isaac Muleme, Mustafa Kizza, Derrick Nsibambi, Joseph Ochaya, Moses Waiswa, Khalid Aucho, Ismail Watenga.

September 2, 2021

2022 World Cup qualifiers (Group E)

Kenya vs Uganda at Nyayo national stadium

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