Mckinstry Shifts Focus To AFCON Qualifiers After CHAN Debacle

Uganda Cranes coach Jonathan Mckinstry has turned attention to 2021 Africa Cup of Nations following another early from CHAN.

The Cranes bundled out of CHAN 2020 at group stage level, for a fifth straight attempt, after a 5-2 humiliating loss to defending Champions Cameroon.

The Cranes staged a poor show in all the three games, including an opening draw to neighbors Rwanda and a 2-1 loss to debutants Togo as they finished bottom of group C.

“We know everyone is disappointed at this moment. We set a high bar for ourselves, and when we fail to achieve those targets we all hurt,” Mckinstry is quoted on his personal blog.

“But rest assured everyone from the management, to the technical team and players are committed to raising the flag of Uganda high. We are all extremely proud to represent the nation on a global stage, and will continue to strive for perfection on a daily basis.”

Mckinstry and Striker Muhammad Shaban during a game against Morocco in Group C of CHAN 2021. Credit: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)

The Cranes will return to action in March for the upcoming AFCON Qualifiers.

Uganda, who lost to South Sudan in Nyayo, are second in Group B with seven points from four games.

They will face Burkina Faso at home on March 22 before visiting Malawi on March 30.

The top two teams in each group will book a slot for the AFCON tourney to be held in January 2022 in Cameroon.

“We have already begun our preparations for the upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifications games in March,” Mckinstry added.

“We sit second in the group and given the positive and determined mindset amongst the senior national team players at present, I expect Uganda to not only perform at our best but also qualify for AFCON in our March games.”

Uganda has qualified for AFCON in the last two editions including the 2019 in Egypt where they managed to reach the knockout before falling to eventual finalists Senegal.

The Cranes will return in the country from Cameroon on Saturday aboard Ethiopian Airlines.



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