Uganda eye World Cup boost in Kampala

Uganda eye World Cup boost in Kampala
Thomas Partey of Ghana battles for the ball with Geofrey Serunkuma of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 17 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 23:41

Uganda will be aiming to give their hopes of reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia a major boost, at the expense of Ghana, when the two countries lock horns at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 16h00, (15h00 CAT).

The Cranes sit in second spot in Group E, having accumulated seven points from four fixtures - two less than log leaders Egypt who they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to last time out.

Ghana are in third place with five points from four fixtures. A 5-1 thumping of Congo in Brazzaville keeping their dreams alive, albeit by the skin of their teeth.

In search of their first World Cup appearance, no one is more inspired than Uganda captain a star goalkeeper Denis Onyango, who underlined his country's desire to reach the world showpiece.

"The group is still open,"Onyango told "I think it will go until the last game, but it’s important for us to win the game, which is against Ghana at home, and put pressure on Egypt because they are playing away against Ghana in the last game. Ghana won't make it easy for them.

“So for us it’s all about winning our remaining games and to see how far we can go because no one gave us a chance. We have surprised everyone,”the Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper concluded.

Ghana will be without several key players for the clash with Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Thomas Agyepong, Harrison Afful, Christian Atsu and Johnathan Mensah all set to play no part in the Ugandan capital.

Head Coach, Kwesi Appiah, though remains hopeful of his team's chances having watched Thomas Partey and Richmond Boakye rise to the occasion in Congo.

“The squad is in high spirits especially after the huge win in Congo,"Appiah told Nation Sport. "We are hoping to extend that form in Kampala.

"We are not under pressure, but a win will be very positive for us. We will give it our all."

The reverse fixture in Tamale last October ended in a goalless stalemate. Onyango emerging as the hero for the Cranes.

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