Afcon Qualifiers; Cranes Coach Micho Counting on Oldies to Stop Niger

Uganda Cranes Head Coach Micho Milutin Sredojevic is pinning his hopes on the experienced core of senior players who returned to Uganda Cranes to help the team in their do-or-die 2023 AFCON qualifier against Niger.

This is one of the key areas Micho highlighted after summoning at least 33 players to start preparation for their final AFCON Qualifying campaign for the 2024 edition.

His squad saw the return of defenders Bevis Mugabi, Isaac Muleme, Timothy Awany, and Joseph Ochaya among others and Micho believes these hold enough experience to see Cranes sail past Niger.

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While Micho has often encountered criticism for prioritizing seasoned players over emerging talents, his steadfast approach has remained impervious to detractors. The current assembly of players boasts a significant contingent of seasoned veterans, including Emma Okwi, Farouk Miya, and Khalid Aucho, among other illustrious names.

“I’m happy that since [the last game in] June, Bevis Mugabi is back after a long injury lay-off; We also have Awany, Muleme, and Ochaya back from injury,” Micho said after revealing his squad

“We’ve assembled the best of the best squad that Uganda has at present competitively. We’re doing forward to following them and doing distance coaching to prepare them for everything that game could bring to be able to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to a statement from FUFA, the squad summoned by the coach is composed of 33 players and will enter a residential camp at Cranes Paradise Hotel, Kisasi starting Monday, 28th August 2023. Uganda will play Niger on 7th September at Grand Stade Marrakech in Morocco.

It is important to note that Uganda Cranes’ aspiration to partake in the AFCON tournament stands at a critical juncture, with their consecutive appearance hanging in the balance

Currently positioned in third place within the standings with a tally of four points, they find themselves locked in fierce competition with Tanzania, who hold the second qualifying position with an impressive seven points.

As the curtain draws close on the ongoing AFCON qualification campaign, Uganda’s destiny is interwoven with a resounding victory over Niger, ideally coupled with a notable goal difference. Furthermore, their hopes are intrinsically linked with Algeria’s perspective triumph over Tanzania, ideally accentuated by a significant goal disparity.


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