Injuries Scare Uganda Cranes of Algeria Showdown

Photo By DPU: Cranes coach Micho

In the lead-up to the highly anticipated showdown between Uganda Cranes and Algeria, the Ugandan national team has been hit with yet another setback after two key defenders, Gavin Kizito and Joseph Ochaya, will be sidelined due to injuries, posing a significant challenge for the team.

This is yet another challenge for the team that will once again host its home game away from the game since there is no stadium that can host such a match in the land.

The team’s head coach, Milutin Sredojević Micho confirmed this on Thursday, briefly when he was commenting about Uganda Cranes’ 1-0 loss in a warm-up game against DR Congo in Duala, Cameroon as they prepare for their Afcon qualifying clash with the North African giants.

The two players who were absent from the game have been released from the camp, and to Micho, it is a great setback since it is too late to bring in replacements. He stated, “The medical team has advised and sent them to their respective clubs for recovery, but here we shall use eighteen field players and three goalkeepers.”

Ochaya, one of the finest left-backs, and his colleague Kizito who plays as a right-back were not part of the team that held one and half weeks of residential training in Uganda, they therefore just joined the camp in Douala, unfortunately, they failed the fitness tests.

Now, while the absence of Joseph Ochaya can be partially compensated by utilizing Abdu Aziizi Kayondo, finding a suitable replacement for Gavin Kizito, who served as the team’s primary right back, poses a significant challenge. The coaching staff may therefore need to make tactical adjustments, potentially deploying a center back in that position.

The upcoming match on June 18th, 2023, between Uganda Cranes and Algeria in Douala, Cameroon, is of utmost importance as the Cranes strive for victory to enhance their chances of qualifying for the continental showpiece.

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The Algerian team, having already secured their spot for the upcoming continental showpiece next year, carries no pressure, making it essential for the Cranes to give their all and secure a win against the formidable African giants.

In their previous encounter against DR Congo, who are also preparing for their upcoming match against Gabon, Coach Micho adopted a balanced approach, deviating from his usual defensive strategy. He fielded only one defensive midfielder, Bobosi Byaruhanga, in an attempt to maintain stability on the field.

Additionally, the decision was made to rest deputy Captain Khalid Aucho. Coach Micho clarified that the technical team opted not to risk the seasoned midfielder, who had recently joined the camp after fulfilling his club duties.

Uganda Cranes faced challenges with creativity during the match, raising concerns ahead of the critical showdown with Algeria. Ultimately, Theo Bongoda converted from the penalty spot, securing a victory for the Congolese team, especially after a dominant first half where their skillful wingers pushed Uganda deeper.

Reflecting on the game, Coach Micho acknowledged that his team performed well, as expected, but was unfortunate to concede a penalty that had a significant impact on the final outcome

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