Cranes Invade Libya for the 2008 Ghana African Cup of Nations Qualifiers
Nestroy Kizito from Serbia is not expected to show up.

Cranes Invade Libya for the 2008 Ghana African Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Laszlo Csaba takes the team to libya for the 2008 Ghana African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: August 16, 2006

The new national soccer tactician Laszlo Csaba, makes his third appearance on the Cranes bench, today Wednesday when his troops invade Libya in Tripoli in an international friendly encounter ahead of the 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifiers due early next month.

After watching his boys settling for a 1 all draw against Rwanda, and a barren one against Botswana before a 3-1 spot kick victory, the Hungarian seems to be content with all departments save for his impotent striking line.

In the last friendly against Botswana at Nakivubo stadium, the striking trio of Hassan Mubiru, Geofrey Sserunkuma and Anthony Bongoole missed a couple of clear chances that even left Csaba with bruises on his right leg after kicking a bench in disappointment.

David Obua  Touchline Photo
David Obua Touchline Photo:
Will not make it to Libya
He had hoped that Egyptian based Geofrey Massa would help him solve the problem before receiving a big blow when his club El Masry declined to release the former Police FC marksman. The 21 year old, was earlier expected to link up with the Cranes in Cairo where they were supposed to have a stop-over before proceeding to Libya.

Massa's absence in the team, comes after South African giants, Keiser Chiefs, declined to release their much celebrated utility player David Obua for the same cause.

This means Csaba will have to wait for his final friendly match against Botswana in Gaborane, to have a glimpse of an eye on some of the professionals that are expected to play a key role in the qualification campaign to Ghana 2008.

The foreign based players to miss the Libya game include Skipper Ibrahim Sekajja from Argentina, Iceland based defender Andy Mwesigwa, Nestroy Kizito from Serbia, Isaac 'Kanu' Mulyanga from Vietnam, Super Sport FC custodian Denis Onyango and Ethiopian Congolese naturalized Ugandan Assan Pitche Bajope.

However, the team was boosted by the arrival of the South African based pair of defense king pin Timothy Batabaire and goalie Posnet Omony. The duo that arrived in Kampala on Friday evening and immediately joined the camp, features for Bromofentains Celtics.

Despite the absence of professional quartet Csaba remains focused and optimistic that the available players can do the job.

"I'm only concerned about the available players, I can't cry for lost milk, I have tried solve the striking line and I'm optimistic that the friendly against Libya will tune my boys ahead of the big game against Lesotho," reveals Csaba in an interview with Ultimate Media, before departing for Tripoli.

The arrival of golie Posnet Omony, means that Hannington Kalyesubula finds his plot on the bench while URA's attack minded right full back Richard Malinga is likely to continue keeping Simeon Masaba out of the starting eleven.

After Abubaker Tabula going AWOL, Victor FC hard man Robert Kabanda has a little competition on the left side, while Timothy Batabaire steps in for his former team mate at Villa Park Samadu Mutumba to combine with Wasswa Hassan in the central defense.

Midfield dynamo, Noah Kasule 'Babadi' and troubled clubless Hakim Magumba stand in between the mid field hole, supported by Rwandan based Vicent Kayizi and young star Robert Kimuli on the right and left flank respectively.

Geofrey Sserunkuma who started the Botswana game on the bench reclaims his number ahead of his club mate Anthony Bongoole to pattern Express FC prodigal son Hassan Mubiru in the attack.

Sc Villa's 19-year-old wonder kid Augustine Nsumba hopes to win his 2nd cap in the later stages of the game.

After the Wednesday tie, the Cranes will line up against Botswana in Gabarone, four days before kick starting the road to Ghana 2008 against Lesotho in a make or break encounter at Namboole ultra modern stadium.

Uganda is pooled a alongside Lesotho, Niger and the mighty Super Eagles of Nigeria and the winner of the group gets an automatic qualification for the 2008 finals in Accra, Ghana.

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: August 16, 2006
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Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.