Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Cranes start their 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign against a tricky Democratic Republic of Congo side in a Group A match at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Sebastien Desabre’s side will be cheered on by a couple of Ugandan fans who have traveled to Cairo including 2nd Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja (representing President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni) and Minister of Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda among others.
The Cranes will be all out to make a perfect start just like the hosts Egypt who defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 in the opening game that ended this morning.
Assistant captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda told URN that although they know DR Congo are a very physical side, the Cranes have what it takes to prove a point in this game. “We need to play as a team and take our chances because every game counts,” added the experienced Mawanda. Going into the game the Cranes have been camped in Abu Dhabi for three weeks where they also played two international games drawing goalless against Asian side Turkmenistan and a 1-0 win against former African Champions Ivory Coast.
Skipper and goalkeeper Denis Onyango is expected to command his troops from the back, while Murushid Juuko and Godfrey Walusimbi marshal the backline. Farouk Miya and Emmanuel Okwi are expected to start at the front, while Hassan Wasswa Mawanda and Khalid Aucho handle the midfield.
For the two time AFCON Champions DR Congo they are expected to come all out to try and snatch maximum points. Their coach Florent Ibenge who is leading them in their third AFCON said they should make it to the next stage looking at Egypt as their main obstacle in the Group.
Yannick Bolasie who features for Everton FC in the English Premier League together with veteran Tresor Mputu and Youssouf Mulumbu are expected to play key roles for the DR Congo Leopards.
Group A table standing
P W D L G A GA Pts
Egypt 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3
DR Congo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Uganda 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Zimbabwe 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0