Home Football FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Cranes, Amavubi Stars in crunch group E tie

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Cranes, Amavubi Stars in crunch group E tie

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Uganda has drawn both of their opening encounters. (PHOTO/File)

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Rwanda vs Uganda
Stade Regional de Nyamirambo
Thursday, 07-10-2021 @7pm

The Uganda Cranes will be hoping to takeĀ  all three points when they take on Rwanda in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday, October 7.

Uganda currently sit third in group E of the African qualifiers with just two points from as many games.

They drew 0-0 away to Kenya in their first encounter before holding onto a point at home to Mali, in a game that the Cranes finished with 10 men after defender Murushid Juuko was sent off for a stupid foul, in the second half.

The performance in those two encounters has left a lot to be desired and pressure has already started mounting on returning head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.

With current group leaders-Mali at home to Kenya on the same day, Uganda knows that they can not afford any slip-ups as they could find themselves five points off the pace if results do not go their way.

However, looking at the performances in the first two games, there is nothing to suggest that the Cranes will indeed put up a good show and bag all three points in Kigali.

For Rwanda, they also find themselves in an identical situation like Uganda.

The Amavubi Stars sit bottom of the group with just a single point to show. The point came in their last game as they drew 1-1 with Kenya.

That was consolation for their loss to Mali in game one and they will be hoping to build on that to ensure they come up with their first victory of the campaign.

Against Uganda, nothing will come easy as they face their East African neighbours in a derby of-sorts.

Uganda will be without the suspended Juuko who was sent off against Mali. Captain Emmanuel Okwi is also absent as he was not called up after failing to find a club in time for the qualifiers. The good news for Uganda is that midfielder Tadeo Lwanga who missed the first two games through injury is now available.

For Rwanda, they have no major absentees for the game with the majority of the squad that draw with Kenya in the last game, present. Head coach Vincent Mashami summoned 12 foreign-based players who he hopes can lead his side to glory on Thursday.

Ahead of the game, Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic is optimistic his boys will get the job done.

“We are looking forward to having positive performances against Rwanda, both in Kigali and at home. Micho said.

“The passion and the patriotism of the players is very high and they are ready to make Ugandans proud.

“With due respect to Rwanda, our target is to get maximum points, nothing less than that.”

This will be the 12th meeting between the two sides since December 2007. In the past 11 meetings, Uganda have won six, Rwanda two with the other three ending in draws. This fixture has not witness an away victory in any of the last seven matches. The last meeting between the two sides ended in a goalless draw in January of this year at the CHAN tournament. Rwanda heads into the game having won only two of their last 12 World Cup qualifiers (D3 L7). At home, the Amavubi Stars have won only one of their last six World Cup qualifiers (D2 L3).For Uganda, they have not won any of their last five World Cup qualifiers (D4 L1). Away from home, the Cranes have won only one of their last 18 World Cup qualifiers (D5 L12).

Uganda’s Probable Lineup

Ismail Watenga (GK), Denis Iguma, Enock Walusimbi, Timothy Awanyi, Isaac Muleme; Milton Karisa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Khalid Aucho, Ibrahim Orit, Tadeo Lwanga, Fahad Bayo.

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