World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier: The Cranes raring to go against Egypt

Coach Moses Basena addressing the media after the evening training session. 

By: Danito Nsubuga 

The Cranes’ preparations for the World Cup group E qualifier against Egypt received a massive boost as more foreign  players reported to Camp.

Godfrey Sserunkuuma and Godfrey Walusimbi joined the camp today (Tuesday) and the only players missing for the camp to be declared full house are Geoffrey Kizito and Kizito Luwagga who is expected to jet in tomorrow Tuesday after playing for his club Polytechnica la si during their 2-0 loss to Sepsi OSK in the the Romanian League 1 match.

The cranes held a trial match against KCCA which they managed to win convincingly 4-1. Coach Moses Basena named a different 11 for each of the halves with Benjamin Ochan, Nico Wadada, Issac Muleme, Juuko Murushid, Isaac Isinde, Hassan Wasswa Joseph Ochaya, Khalid Aucho, Emmanuel Okwi Farouk Miya and Derrick Nsibambi starting the first 45 minutes.

The 2nd half saw Basena making wholesale changes to the team, introducing Tom Masiko, Ivan Ntege and Muzamir Mutyaba in midfield, Ismael Watenga in goal, Denis Iguma, Paul Musamali, Bernard Muwanga and Timothy Awanyi in defence, Paul Mucurezi, Shafiq Kagimu, and Milton Karisa to the forward line. Iguma was shortly withdrawn for Moses Waiswa.

Mamelodi Sundowns goal keeper Denis Onyango (left) is taken through the paces ahead of Thursday’s match

The match ended 4-1 in the Cranes’ favour with goals from Farouk Miya , Muzamir Mutyaba, Emmanuel Okwi and Paul Mucureezi, Miya had earlier missed from the spot.

Coach Moses Basena believes his team have done enough preparation and he is also thankful that most of the foreign players have managed to report on time. He said,

” We are a playing at home and this is a big stage, it’s a World Cup qualifier and we have prepared well for this game, today we gave everyone a run out to put our selves in position to make an assessment and formulate opinions about ourselves “.

” It’s self motivating for every player that we are playing Egypt , We lost to them in the AFCON group stages when we thought we had scored our first goal in the tournament against them, everyone will come to do their best and achieve our targets “. 

When asked of whether he has made any special preparations for any Egyptian players especially Mohammed Salah who had a very good game against Arsenal in the English premier league on Sunday. Basena insists the Cranes are playing 11 out of 11 and not individual players. He added,

“We are not going Play against Salah, we are playing against a strong Egyptian team of 11 men, I know they have brilliant players but we need to concentrate more how we contain them, our set up and how we keep our possession. Of course we have to be cautious of such players by not allowing them to take us up one on one and maybe stop them”.

The Cranes are now camping at Sky hotel in Nalya and they will hold a double training  session tomorrow Tuesday in preparation for Thursday’s match.

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