Thursday, September 2
*Kenya Vs Uganda, 4pm
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Micho Sredejovich anticipates a tough battle against Kenya as the two East African rivals prepare to battle in a World Cup Qualifier.
The Cranes contingent arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday morning, two days before the clash at Nyayo Stadium.
“Its one more episode of unending derby between Uganda and Kenya,” started Micho on arrival in Kenya.
“I am happy to come here in Nairobi. The game is a measure of character and test for Uganda Cranes that is in transition. Too much is at stake, its very hard to play against friends, the players that you know, their childhood, the coach that you know from his humble beginnings.
“We know coming here is a very tough match that will show us where we are at the very present. It will be very competitive.”
The Uganda Cranes are pooled in Group E alongside Mali and neighbours Kenya and Rwanda.
The games are qualification pathways for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar.
Group E is one of the 10 groups (A to J) of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The ten group winners advance to the third round.
The third round will see the 10 group winners drawn into five home-and-away ties. The winners of each tie will advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Uganda Cranes will be eyeing a perfect start against Kenya before facing Mali at home at the St Mary’s stadium in Kitende.
The game against Kenya pits together two rival neighbours and Micho has stated that the Harambee Stars have an added advantage.
“Most of the Kenya players were in full competitiveness,” Micho said in reference to Kenya Premier League which was played until the end.
“In Uganda we were having some problems because of our league was in a recess owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. But no matter what, we are representing Uganda and I know the game will be decided by small details and we hope those small details go our way.
“We are expecting a good match, a football match of friends that will be fought for 90 minutes but after that we shall be East African brothers.”
Micho trimmed the squad when he released five players – Taddeo Lwanga (injured), Martin Kizza, Shafik Kuchi Kagimu, Abdu Lumala and Kenneth Ssemakula.
Three players Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Mustapha Kizza (CF Montreal, Canada), and Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt) are joining the squad in Nairobi.