Monday, September 6
*Uganda Vs Mali – 4pm
*Benin Vs D.R. Congo
*Djibouti Vs Niger
*Guinea – Morocco
*Liberia Vs Central Africa
*South Africa Vs Ghana
*Ivory Coast Vs Cameroon
Uganda Cranes host Mali on matchday two of Group E of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
The Cranes, officially sponsored by leading communication company Airtel, kicked off their campaign with an away draw against Kenya Harambee Stars on Thursday in Nyayo Stadium.
The visitors on the other hand, beat Rwanda Amavubi Stars 1-0 at a neautral ground – Grand Stade d’Agadir in Morocco – on Wednesday.
Mali jetted in the Country on Sunday with a reported 54-man delegation and are accommodated at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.
On Sunday, Kenya and Rwanda played out a one-all draw in Kigali in their second group E game.
The game at Kitende will be officiated by Heeralall Ahmad Imtehaz of Mauritius assisted by Burundians Emery Niyongabbo and Pascal Ndimunzigo.
Strange Second Homecoming Awaits Micho
The game comes four days since Uganda celebrated their fifth anniversary when Micho led the country to their first AFCON qualification since 1978.
Then on September 4th 2016 at a packed Namboole Stadium, Farouk Miya scored the only goal as Cranes beat Comoros 1-0 to seal a place in Gabon finals as one of the two best group runners-up.
On Monday, coach Micho will not be at his spiritual home of Namboole for his second homecoming.
The Cranes are hosting at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende as Namboole is still dilapidated.
Micho will miss the ’12th player’ as the game will be played behind closed doors due to Covid19 restrictions.
In addition, unlike Namboole (grass), Kitende is an astroturf and many players are yet to adapt to such a playing surface.
Just like it was against Kenya, Micho will be without the quality of some foreign-based players including Miya, Timothy Awany, Bevis Mugabi and Fahad Bayo among others.
Two players – Captain Emmanuel Okwi and defender Halid Lwaliwa – were stretchered off hurt in the first half of the Kenya draw.
Micho said: “We assessed the wrongs against Kenya both physically and theoretically so I can say that the team will be ready.”
After employing defensive tactics to pick a vital point in Kenya, Micho will be tasked to open up to see the team pick maximum points on the day.
He said: “We assessed the wrongs against Kenya both physically and theoretically so I can say that the team will be ready.”
Moussa Djenepo Leads Mali’s Buzzing Generation
Mali is an African Powerhouse but have never qualified for a World Cup. They have played at 12 AFCONs, including reaching the final in 1972.
They have been home to World Stars like Fredrick Kanoute, Mahamadou Diarra, Seydou Keita, Mohamed Sissoko among others.
However, there is belief in the country that this current generation is destined to surpass past records.
Southampton Winger Moussa Djenepo will be the key man for Mali at Kitende on Monday.
Djenepo, gifted with pace and trickery, is expected to cause Uganda Cranes fullbacks all sorts of problems on his 18th cap.
The Malians will be without Brighton and Hove midfielder Yves Bissouma but Bundesliga duo Diadié Samassekou (Hoffenheim) and Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig) will be available for selection.
Adama Traore who recently helped FC Sheriff Tiraspol qualify for this season’s UEFA Champions League group stages will be another star to watch.
Traore scored the only goal as Mali beat Rwanda on Wednesday.
Mamadou Fofana is a solid defender and will be key for the side.
Coach Mohamed Magassouba will be well aware that a game away to Uganda Cranes will be his hardest in the group but will be fancying his chances to go top the table.
The Probable Lineups:
Uganda Cranes – Ismail Watenga, Denis Iguma, Mustafa Kizza, Enock Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Moses Waiswa, Milton Karisa, Emmanuel Okwi, Joseph Ochaya
Mali – Ibrahim Bozzo Mounkoro, Hamari Traore, Falaye Sacko, Charles Traore, Boubacar Kouyate, Lassana Coulibaly, Amadou Haidara, Cheick Doucoure, Moussa Djenepo, Adama Traore, Ibrahima Kone
Previous Meetings – Cranes Seek First Win
Uganda Cranes have not beaten Mali’s Les Aigles (The Eagles) in four meetings.
The previous meeting was in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations when both sides shared spoils at Stade d’Oyem, Oyem in Gabon.
Yves Bissouma’s freekick canceled out Farouk Miya’s beautiful opener.
The four meetings:
*1965 (African Games): Mali 5-1 Uganda
*1965 (Friendly): Uganda 1-5 Mali
*2016 (CHAN): Mali 2-2 Uganda
*2017 (AFCON): Uganda 1-1 Mali
How To Watch
- The game will be played behind closed doors (without fans) and only 30 Journalists have been accredited.
- Azam TV secured the rights of broadcasting the 20ew FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Africa. The match will be live on Azam Sports 2 HD.
- Streaming platforms like Hesgoal may have the game as well.
- FUFA FM will have the radio commentary
- Check The-SportsNation social media pages for live updates.