Uganda Cranes will not be with captain Emmanuel Okwi for their final 2023 AFCON qualifier against Niger, The-SportsNation can reliably confirm.
Okwi picked up an injury and will not travel with the Cranes, awaiting official confirmation from the Federation.
Uganda will face Niger on September 7 in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Cranes need a win, and hope that Tanzania lose away to Algeria, to secure a place in next year’s AFCON finals in Ivory Coast.
Without Okwi who plies his trade with Erbil SC in Iraqi, Coach Micho remains with just three forwards – Fahad Bayo (VFK Vyskov, Czech Republic), Basangwa Richard (Wadi Degla SC, Egypt) and Ssebufu Frank (New York Redbull II, USA).
Okwi and Cranes goal-scoring drought
Okwi has started all Uganda Cranes five matches in this ongoing AFCON Qualifications campaign, but has not scored a single goal.
And to be specific, his last Uganda Cranes goal in a competitive game was in 2019.
Then, he scored one of the goals as Uganda beat Malawi 2-0 on November 17 2019 at Namboole during the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers.
He scored two goals last year in International Friendlies – In a 1-1 draw with Tajikstan and in a 4-2 loss against Uzbekistan in March at the Navruz Invitational Cup.
The forward has bagged 10 goals for Uganda Cranes since 2014 and is one of the players that has faced huge criticism from the fans everytime the Cranes fail to produce a result.
The Cranes entered residential camp on Monday, at Cranes paradise Hotel in Kisasi and will be expected to fly out to Marrakech on September 3rd/4th.