On Wednesday, Uganda will play Niger at the St Mary’s stadium as they seek to redraw their fading hopes of advancing to the next stage of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Uganda are currently bottom of group F with zero points after a devastating performance in Algiers against Algeria at the 5 July 1962 stadium on Saturday.
The cranes were outplayed by the fennec foxes in both stanzas of the 2-0 defeat, a result that could have been worse had it not been for goal keeper Charles Lukwago standing out from the park to save the day.
According to cranes’ coach Milutin Sredojevic, not alot was expected from the Algeria game as they faced a stronger opponent who had a thirst to avenge for their (Algeria) failure to make it out of the group stage in the 2021 Afcon.
Micho pronounced that the game against Niger will be the launch of Uganda’s campaign in the tournament as the first encounter (against Algeria) was a great test of his team’s character as lessons were drawn from the game.
The Serbian national further noted that, “We have lost the game but in football I have a personal belief that you either win or you learn a lesson and we have learnt the lessons from Algeria which we shall use for our game against Niger”.
Uganda will have to bag all three points on Wednesday when they host Niger in Kampala if they are to press on to the second spot and brighten their chances of pulling through the group stages as runners up and also console the already grieving fans.
Upto today, Uganda and Niger have met on six occasions, both winning three of the six, though their last time in a competitive game was during the World cup qualifiers of 2008 which the latter won 3-1 when they hosted the former.
However, in their most recent international friendly a year ago (January 2021), Uganda won 3-0 which deems the cranes fit for this challenge.
Still over the weekend, Niger faced off with Tanzania in a tight contest that ended with a 1-1 draw at the Stade de L’amitie.
Niger came from one goal down in the 27th minute when Daniel Sosah connected an assist from Yousouff Oumarou into the back of the net to level scores with the Taifa stars who scored in the first minute of the draw through horseman George Mpole.
Tanzania will host Algeria at the Benjamin Mkapa National stadium in their next game of the group stage.
The two have met 11 times of which Algeria has won the biggest share (six), four draws and one win for Tanzania.
Their most recent faceoff was in the group stages of the 2019 edition of the same event and Algeria won 3:0. Chances are, Tanzania will struggle to bag a point on this one.
Standings group F
- Algeria (3pts)
- Tanzania (1pt)
- Niger (1pt)
- Uganda (0pt)