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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Cranes eye three points at home to group leaders Mali

Uganda Cranes players during training on Sunday ahead of the Mali game. (PHOTO/FUFA Media)

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Uganda vs Mali
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitenda
Monday, 06-08-2021 @ 4pm

The Uganda Cranes will be out for victory when they host Mali in their second 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier, on Monday afternoon at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.

Uganda drew 0-0 with Kenya in their first game at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, last week.

It was a contest that neither side wanted to lose and fairly ended in a draw.

Since then, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side has returned home, where they are virtually unbeatable, to try and get their campaign back on track.

Uganda have not lost a World Cup qualification fixture in their back-yard since October 2004 when they were defeated 1-0 by South Africa.

Uganda starts the day in third position, two points behind the leaders Mali.

Mali are top of proceedings following their 1-0 victory over Rwanda in their opening game, last Wednesday.

Romanian based forward Andama Traore scored the only goal for Mohammed Magassouba’s side against the Amavubi Stars.

That was the Eagles’ first win in four games across all competitions, having lost twice and won one in the three fixtures before Wednesday.

In World Cup qualification, they had not won any of their past six games (D4 L2), prior to Wednesday.

Mali are not know for their goal scoring but are a side that is hard to break down.

The Cranes have seen three more players join camp since their return from Kenya.

Defender Kenneth Semakula, midfielder Shafick Kagimu and Winger Martin Kizza who were dropped following the camp in Ethiopia, have all returned to the fold.

However, Kagimu is understood to be with a sprained ankle so he misses out.

Captain Emmanuel Okwi has recovered from a knock that saw him substituted at halftime on Thursday and he has been past fit to feature on Monday.

Halid Lwaliwa who was taken off within eight minutes against the Harambe Stars has failed to recover from a knee injury and he will not be available.

Enock Walusimbi who partnered Murushid Juuko at centre-back following Lwaliwa’s injury is expected to start.

Mali are still without the services of Amiens forward Bilal Traore who has failed to recover since getting injured for his club, just before the international window.

Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bisouma is unavailable for selection due to injury.

Southampton’s Mousa Djenepo will have to undergo a late fitness test after he hot injured in the win over Rwanda.

This will be just the third competitive meeting between the two sides. All of the first two have ended in draws, one at the 2017 AFCON and the other in CHAN 2016.


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