Uganda’s Denis Iguma challenges an Egyptian opponent off the ball during the last meeting
By: Danito Nsubuga
Next week on Thursday 31st Uganda will host Egypt in a first of the double header to the qualifiers of the World Cup 2018 that will be hosted in Russia. Uganda has never qualified for the tournament whereas Egypt has not been there since 1990.
The last time the two teams faced off, it was in the African cup of Nations group D match where Egypt edged Uganda to a slender 1-0 win scored by substitute Abdallah El Said in Port Gentil on January 21st 2017.
That Egyptian victory came when the cranes were coached by Serbian tactician Micho Sredejovic who resigned from his job at the end July this year and it’s from this background that Egypt’s Hector Cuper derives his fear for he is not sure of what to expect from the men at the helm of the Cranes control room.
He admits that he is not familiar with the playing style of the new interim coaches Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba. Cuper told the Egyptian media that,
“Uganda’s new coach might decide to make some changes in the players or the tactics. I cannot predict the level of the opponent before facing them. He could just use the same playing method of the former coach since he was his assistant”.
“I am not underestimating the Uganda team. I acknowledge how difficult the first game is and we have analysed the opponent and they are a strong side. We clinched a tough last minute victory against them in AFCON. My main issue is that the foreign-based players will arrive only two days we head to Uganda, besides some locals feel physically and mentally exhausted but every player knows that he has to double his effort.”
“I am not thinking about the Ghana game at the moment. All my thoughts are on how to win the two games against Uganda.” Cuper concluded in the press conference.
Uganda will host Egypt on August 31st and the will later meet again for a return fixture 4 days later in Egypt on 5th September. Egypt top group E with 6 points and Uganda lie 2nd with 4 points from 2 games played.