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Uganda Cranes ready to end Ghana’s World Cup dreams

The Cranes starting line up that destroyed Egypt. Okwi is standing left. PHOTO FUFA MEDIA

WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: Uganda ?? vs Ghana ?? 4pm

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | With Egypt two points clear at the top in Group E, Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier is a must-win for both Uganda Cranes and Ghana’s Black Stars.

The Ugandans have the better chance of staying in contention, but must still pick all three points and then expect a favour from their visitors against Egypt in the final game of the Group.

Saturday’s three points are there for the taking by Uganda, as a starless Black Stars trooped into Kampala Thursday, missing some of their top players who are out with injuries. The team is also without the dreaded Ayew brothers Jordan and Andre who were dropped by coach James Kwesi Appiah.

Ghana will be without five first team regulars, including defender Harrison Afful and captain Asamoah Gyan, who led the team in its 5-1 demolition of Congo Brazzaville in their last World Cup qualifier

Coach Appiah is however still confident. “Players that are in now, their confidence levels are rising slowly and for that reason I believe when they go out there, there’s not too much pressure on them,” Appiah said, adding the players will be looking to “express themselves” on the pitch.

The coach has been forced to bring in five new players to the squad, all set to earn their first caps. They include midfielder Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Malmo, defender Vincent Atings of Ghana premier league’s Hearts of Oak and striker John Atwin of Egyptian side Misr Makkasa, all of whom trained with the team for the first time in Nairobi.

FILE PHOTO: Ghana’s forward Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017. He is one of the stars Ghana will miss this weekend.

▶️ Uganda vs Ghana Oct 7 ▶️ Egypt vs Congo Oct 7 ▶️ Congo vs Uganda Nov 6 ▶️ Ghana vs Egypt Nov 6

Standings Group E

??EGY – 9pts

??UGA – 7pts

??GHA – 5pts

??CGO – 1

Uganda gets Mawejje boost

Although Uganda warmed up for the game with a less than impressive performance against Madagascar, who won 2-1 at Lugogo, Cranes have a very strong home record they will rely on to tame the starless Black Stars.

Interim coach Moses Basena welcomes back ace midfielder Tony Mawejje, and with Africa’s top goalkeeper Denis Onyango between the posts, sounded confident going into this game.

‘We have prepared well for the match and the morale is high ahead of the match. There are no injuries and the players are all set for action’ Basena said in the pre-match interview.

Emma Okwi, the striker Basena called back after a long spell out an scored in the win against Egypt, said he is ready for the Ghana test.

“The role of a striker is to score goals. I score at my club and I scored the last goal for the Cranes against Egypt and this gives me confidence about the upcoming game,” Okwi said.

Uganda, which is in second place with seven points will be without former Kenya-based midfielder Khalid Aucho and Murushid Jjuuko who are suspended.

Key in Saturday’s game again will be star goalkeeper Denis Onyango, who watched the Wednesday friendly on the bench.

Uganda held Ghana 0-0 in their opening World Cup qualifier.

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