Uganda Cranes will qualify for the fifth TOTAL Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament given a convincing result against Burundi on Saturday at the Star Times Stadium, Lugogo in Kampala.
Leading by a comfortable 3-0 result from the first leg, played in Bujumbura three weeks ago, the Cranes have a superior advantage and are favourites to make the final tournament that will be hosted by Cameroon in 2020.
Viane Ssekajugo, Muzamiru Mutyaba and Mustafa Kizza scored for Uganda during the first leg.
Whereas Mutyaba is out of the match day squad because of injury, the other players who traveled to Burundi are all available for selection.
Allan Kayiwa, goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa and youngster Abdul Karim Watambala were the additions to the team that made the away trip for the first leg.
The team started training with non residential drills on Sunday. On Wednesday, they played a test practice match with KCCA FC that ended goalless before entering residential camp at Sky Hotel, Naalya on Thursday.
The coach who has been in charge since the qualification process started, Abdallah Mubiru is optimistic.
‘The players are in shape and ready for the game on Saturday. We had a few aspects we had to address ahead of the return leg and that’s scoring problem. But we handled it and we are optimistic we shall get positive results. We have put much emphasis on transitional play on how to build an attack from our own defence. We also looked at space awareness for instance if we lost the ball how do we recover it very fast.” Mubiru noted.
Mubiru has been working closely with Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, Sadiq Wassa with the newly appointed Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry keeping a keen eye.
The technical team is spoilt for choice with a number of players in camp all roaring to go for a killer.
Players available for selection:
Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA), James Alitho (URA), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume)
Defenders: Paul Willa (Police), Ashraf Mandela (URA), Arafat Galiwango (Police), John Revita (KCCA), Mustapha Kizza (KCCA), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Paul Mbowa (URA), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline)
Midfielders: Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA), Said Kyeyune (URA), Yusuf Ssozi (Police), David Owori (SC Villa), Allan Okello (KCCA), Shafique Kagimu (URA), Vianne Ssekajjugo (Wakiso Giants), Karim Watambala (Vipers), Bright Anukani (Proline), Ibrahim Orit (Mbarara City), Allan Kayiwa (SC Vipers)
Strikers: Fahad Bayo (Vipers), Dan Sserunkuma (Vipers), Mike Mutyaba (KCCA)
The match officials are all from Somalia for the 4 PM kick off match.
Uganda has played at four previous Chan final tournaments in Sudan (2011), South Africa (2014), Rwanda (2016) and lately Morocco (2018).
Center Referee: Hassan Mohamed Hagi (Somalia)
1st Assistant Referee: Suleiman Bashir sh. Abdi (Somalia)
2nd Assistant Referee: Abdi Mohamed Nour (Somalia)
Fourth Official: Nur Muhudin Mohamed (Somalia