Depleted Cranes ready for Mauritania

Depleted Cranes ready for Mauritania
The Cranes of Uganda

by Andrew Oryada

Thursday Jul 31, 2014. 15:44

The Uganda Cranes will have to keep their fingers crossed when they line-up a second-rate strike force away to Mauritania in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.

In the absence of proven and tested strikers like Geoffrey Massa (University of Pretoria) Emmanuel Okwi (Young Africans) and Vietnam-based attacking midfielder Moses Oloya, the Cranes will have to look to other sources for goal.

While the team will also miss first choice goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, whose club Mamelodi Sundowns can only release him on Saturday, they will look to Hamis Kiiza, Brian Umony and Gor Mahia forward Daniel Sserunkuma, who failed trials with Danish side KB Koge a week ago, and Iceland-based attacking midfielder Tony Mawejje.

“I know it will not be an easy game because Mauritania have all their players back, while we shall miss some key players. But we are ready for our opponents,” Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said in an interview.

Mauritania coach Patrice Neveu will welcome back playmaker Dominique Da Silva, who missed the first leg that his team lost 2-0 in Kampala. The likes of Bastia’s Adama Ba, Khalil Moulaye Ahmed and Camara Khassa are all also expected to start the game in which the hosts need a big win to qualify for the group stage.

The Cranes eliminated Madagascar in the second round, while Mauritania only benefited after CAF disqualified Equatorial Guinea for using a player who was not eligible to play in the qualifiers.

Uganda needs a win, draw or a 1-0 loss to qualify for the group stage. The team that qualifies will join the group that has Guinea, Togo and the Black Stars of Ghana.

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