FT: Uganda 🇺🇬 0 Senegal 🇸🇳 1
💠 Uganda: Denis Onyango, Murushid Juuko, Hassan Wasswa, Bevis Mugabi, Godfrey Walusimbi, Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Abdu Lumala, Emmanuel Okwi, Farouk Miya & Patrick Kaddu
💠 Senegal: Amigo Alfred Gomis (GK), Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mane, Idrissa Gueye, Cheikhou Kouyate (C), Papa Ndiaye, Henri Saivet, Ismaila Sarr, Lamine Gassama & Mbaye Niang.
Cairo, Egypt | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | All eyes will be on star forward Sadio Mane as Uganda takes on Senegal Friday in an Africa Cup of Nations last-16 match in Cairo.
Mane has scored twice and missed a penalty for Senegal in two group matches after being suspended for the opening match.
“I am even ready to trade my Champions League success to win the Africa Cup of Nations,” he told France Football magazine in a pre-tournament interview.
Standing in Mane’s way is the continent’s best goalkeeper, Denis Onyango. Senegalese Mane and Ugandan Onyango were included in the 2018 African team of the year chosen by a Confederation of African Football (CAF) panel.
They are also Champions League winners — Mane with Liverpool in Europe last season and Onyango with South African club Mamelodi Sundowns in Africa three years ago.
Veteran Onyango has conceded three goals in three matches with another Liverpool star, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, among those who have scored against him.
He however leads a team still rocking from a strike over bonuses. Onyango told the pre-match conference he is ready for the tie, but the toll of a full day in which the team was diverted in negotiations with soccer governing body FUFA over bonuses could show in this game.
The stalemate was only resolved when FUFA offered a $6000 per player bonus for making it to the group of 16.
Uganda last reached the knockout stage of AFCON 41 years ago, at Ghana 1978.
“Uganda Cranes is not afraid of anyone. We shall enjoy the moment and take on Senegal. The most important thing is the game ahead of us. What happened before, we call it past. We have re-opened the engine once again,” Onyango said.
Senegal may top the African rankings, 58 places above Uganda, but coach Aliou Cisse has warned his star-stacked side against over-confidence.
“No one should take Uganda for granted and eliminating them will not be easy,” warned Cisse, one of the stars of the Teranga Lions team that reached the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals.
Mane echoed his coach, saying: “We saw the kind of football they played against Egypt. They are a good side and we will need to be at our best to beat them.”
Uganda had Egypt on the rack for more than half an hour before Salah scored and were equally impressive in the second half without being able to convert chances into goals.
“We have reached the second round, which was the minimum target set for us by the national federation, and anything can happen in knockout matches,” said coach Sebastien Desabre.