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Uganda Cranes draw Egypt, Ghana in World Cup qualifiers

Uganda's defender Denis Iguma (R) evades Botswana's midfielder Lebogang Ditsile during the AFCON 2017 qualifying match Botswana vs Uganda at the Francistown stadium in Botswana on June 4, 2016. AFP PHOTO

Group  A :Libya, Guinea, DR Congo, Tunisia

Group B: Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria

Group C: Gabon, Morocco, Mali, Ivory Coast

Group D: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cape Verde, Senegal

Group E: Uganda, Congo, Egypt, Ghana

Matchdays

1: Oct 3-11 2016
2: Nov 7-15 2016
3/4: Aug 28-Sept 5 2017
5: Oct 2-10 2017
6: Nov 6-14 2017

Uganda has been drawn in one of the toughest groups in the Africa zone, 2018 World Cup qualifiers.  They are in Group E with Congo and African giants Egypt, Ghana.

The qualifiers start in October, with Uganda away to Ghana.

Cranes coach, Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic  was unfazed by the draw. He said success in the Africa Cup of Nations qualification will be the perfect launch pad for the World Cup qualifiers.

” We are focusing first on AFCON qualifiers believing that we can qualify for the first time in 39 years. Once we finish that we shall fly on the wings of confidence go to play World cup qualifiers where we need to meet top class teams with no pressure on us,” Micho said.

Uganda plays Comoros in September, a month before the World Cup qualifiers. Micho is looking to a win in that game and qualification for Gabon as a springboard.

“Against these giants, the mental part is most important. We need to break jinx of Egypt. Technically we shall be up to standard but question is can the whole country stand behind us with just 10 percent of a budget compared to others  we are competing against?”

The “group of death” is Group B, that has Zambia as the minnows. Others are Cameroon, Nigeria, and Algeria.

The five group winners qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia.

World Cup Group qualifying starts this October, continues in November and there will be four rounds between August and November 2017.

Opening match of  Group E has Ghana vs Uganda : 10th October 2016.

LIVE DRAWS

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** Draw starts:  Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny to help with the draw

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Uganda is in Pot 4, the weakest of the four pots. They have never qualified for the final before, but are in contention to make their first African Cup of Nations finals.

Eighteen of the nations in the draw are among the top 20 in the rankings with Gabon and Libya the exceptions.

Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria are seeking third consecutive World Cup appearances.

Pot 1: Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt

Pot 2: Tunisia, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Cameroon

Pot 3: Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, South Africa

Pot 4: Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon, Libya

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