Wednesday, September 1
*Central Africa 1-1 Cape Verde
*Guinea Bissau 1-1 Guinea
*Senegal 2-0 Togo
*Egypt 1-0 Angola
*Libya 2-1 Gabon
*Mali 1-0 Rwanda
Thursday, September 2
*Kenya Vs Uganda, 4pm
*DR Congo Vs Tanzania
*Madagascar Vs Benin
*Namibia Vs Congo
*Niger Vs Burkina Faso
*Algeria Vs Djibouti
*Morocco Vs Sudan
Kenya play host to Uganda at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi as the second round of African section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign gets underway.
These, are qualification pathways for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Qatar.
Uganda Cranes and Kenya Harambee Stars are in Group E alongside Mali and Rwanda, none of the quartet has ever been at a World Cup stage.
The qualification campaign, road to Qatar, in Africa started in September 2019 with the first round where a total of 28 lower ranked nations faced off to determine the 14 who joined this stage, including Rwanda’s Amavubi stars.
Fast forward, at this second round, a total of 40 teams were pitted in 10 groups of four (Group A to J).
At the third round, the top team (10 group winners) will be pitted into five home-and-away ties, with the winners advancing to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar due 21 November to 18 December 2022.
Micho Eyes Perfect Start
FUFA has repeatedly said that their big main target is the FIFA World Cup 2026 that will jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and USA.
They set the project way back in 2019 just after achieving the Cameroon 2019 Project.
However, new coach Milutin Sredejovich Micho will be hoping for a good run into this campaign.
Coming back since his resignation four years ago, Micho will seek to exorcise the 2016 demons that saw the Serbian guide Uganda to a return to AFCON after a 38-year wait.
His work is cut out after inheriting a squad that failed to qualify for 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
Most of the senior players including captain Denis Onyango have already retired from international football and Micho has a squad which is a blend of young and old in Nairobi.
The gaffer will be hoping for a positive result away from home, which will be his first competitive match since taking over from Northern Irishman Jonathan Mckinstry.
The Cranes face Mali four days later at the St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
Team News For the Cranes
- Most foreign based players were not summomed – meaning none of Ronald Mukiibi, Elvis Bwomono, Timothy Awany, Bevis Mugabi, Fahad Bayo, Farouk Miya, Kizito Luwagga, Edirisa Lubega not to mention Allan Okello are part of the team
- Taddeo Lwanga pulled out due to an injury while Lumala Abdul, Shafic Kagimu, Martin Kizza and Kenneth Ssemakula were dropped after the team’s 2-1 loss to Ethiopia friendly last week.
- The trio of Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Mustapha Kizza (CF Montreal, Canada), and Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt) have joined the team in Nairobi.
Uganda Cranes Key Player – Emmanuel Okwi: All eyes will be on Emmanuel Okwi, the senior player on the team who took the captaincy after Onyango’s retirement. The striker, who is without a club, can also dash from either flank. Clinical in front of goal, can beat defenders with skill and has the ability to free teammates on goal.
In his own words: “Its a big match but I must say that we have done adequate preparations as a team and we are ready to do our best. I am the captain but there are many leaders on the team, my work is to put on the armband. We are going to work as a team to see that we can get the needed result.”
Uganda Cranes Probable Lineup – Ismail Watenga, Enock Walusimbi, Mustafa Kizza, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Moses Waiswa, Milton Karisa, Yunus Sentamu, Emmanuel Okwi, Joseph Ochaya
Pressure On Kenya To Deliver
Kenya Harambee Stars will be seeking nothing but victory in their opening game against Uganda Cranes to get their World Cup qualification campaign up and running.
However, the Harambee Stars have to do it without the 13th player on Thursday as the match at Nyayo National Stadium will be played behind closed doors due to Covid19 pandemic.
Coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee an almost the same squad that fell short at the Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign against Egypt and Togo.
There is no Victor Wanyama, Joash Onyango, Jesse Were and Ayub Timbe among other notable omissions.
Gent defender Joseph Okumu and Sweden based midfielder Eric Johanna Omondi arrived late in camp but coach Mulee will be hoping that he has enough in the armoury to down the Cranes.
Key Player – Michael Olunga: Without Wanyama, Olunga will carry the hope of the whole nation. The Qatari based striker has scored twice against Uganda and will be hoping for similar fortunes.
The Al Duhairi forward was named the 2020 Kenya Outstanding Sports Personality of year. He had a good 2020 with Kashiwa Reysol where he emerged the J-League top scorer after banging 28 goals.
He is quoted by DailyNation: “We know it will be a very tough match against Uganda who have been our rivals for many years within the East African region. However, we are hosts and we have to show that through playing well. I believe every player in the camp have the ability to perform well and help Kenya win today.”
Kenya Harambee Stars Probable Lineup – James Saruni, Daniel Sakari, Joseph Okumu, Eric Ouma, Harun Shakava, Duke Abuya, Kenneth Muguna, Lawrence Juma, Abdallah Hassan, Masoud Juma, Michael Olunga
Head To Head – The Unending Rivalry
The East African derby meeting between Uganda and Kenya has always produced some strong memories.
The goalless draw on October 8 2011 at Namboole that denied the Cranes a ticket to 2012 AFCON stands out.
The sides will be meeting for a 76th time – Uganda takes a big share of 30 wins against Kenya’s 22 while 23 draws have been registered.
Outside CECAFA, the last four meetings have ended in draws, including back-to-back 1-1 friendlies.
Kenneth Muguna cancelled out Emmanuel Okwi’s opener in September 2019 at the Kasarani stadium, the last time both sides met.
How To Watch
- The match will be broadcast live on Azam Sports 2 HD after Azam secured exclusive rights of the World Cup Qualifiers on African Continent. You can get the channel on Azam Decorder or download Azam App on mobile phones (which will require some subscription to watch).
- KBC channel 1 has also confirmed broadcasting the match
- Follow The-SportsNation socials for live updates, and a live streamlink (if any) will be shared prior to kickoff.