Uganda Cranes Conclude Pre-CHAN Preps With Another Draw

Sunday, January 8
•Uganda 0-0 Mali

Uganda Cranes played out a goalless draw with Mali in their third and last friendly as the side fine-tune for the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

The Cranes earlier drew with Sudan (2-2) and Cameroon (1-1) on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, in the friendlies played in Tunisia.

Micho made changes in the starting XI from the team that drew the Cameroon game, including having striker Nelson Senkatuka up front.

Young goalkeeper Jack Komakech also played for the first time, coming on for Alionzi Nafian with about half an hour on the clock.

And Cranes who were the second best on the day, held on to avoid defeat against the West African side.

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Micho said that they are now on the final stages of preparations: “We are now just polishing on things and that’s the roof of the game of football. We have the foundation and building structure now we are putting the roof on our house.”

“I believe that we have provided the players with everything including the ‘never say never attitude.’ We are really representing two aspects – The respect of the badge of their country and the respect of their families. And that’s where we expect to get the drive going into the competition.”

Micho lauded the performance of Wakiso Giants’ Titus Sematimba for his good show on the day.

“He (Titus) has shown something that we always knew, his work rate, his contribution and readiness to be in that position as number 10. He has very much knocked on the door of our first XI in our opening match.”

“I remember he scored twice in our Regional your last year in Ntungamo, he was the MVP in the CECAFA U20 and with this outing, he has been conducting himself very well.”

“Him and Travis Mutyaba will be integral for the Uganda Hippos in the forthcoming AFCON U20. So I am proud that we are here and building future stars as well.”

Two of the 25 players will not make the final squad of 23 before the team connects to Algeria for the start of CHAN that gets underway on January 13.

Uganda Cranes, who will be competing for a sixth time, have never gone past the groups and have their work cut out against group opponents DR Congo, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Uganda Cranes Starting XI Vs Mali – Alionzi Nafian, Mandela Ashraf, Mubiru Isa, Mukundane Hillary, Gift Fred, Youngman Marvin, Mutyaba Travis, Yiga Najib, Senkatuka Nelson, Ssematimba Titus, Aliro Moses



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