URA Hopeful, Police Need More Hand Cuffs In Weekends Continental Ties
Uganda's representatives in Omurdman, Sudan.
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First published: March 5, 2006
After registering an away one all draw in the first leg of the Confederations Cup, URA's hopes of progressing to the next stage seem to be alive while their local counterparts Police FC assured the nation before departing for Sudan, that they carried enough hand cuffs to arrest home boys Al Hilal.
The goalless 1st leg draw at Namboole, only leaves the Ugandan Champions with mountain Everest to climb in Sudan if they stand any chance of qualifying to the second round of the lucrative MTN African Champions League, considering Uganda's poor away record.
The Sudanese seem to be more set, organized and eager to progress to the next round than the inexperienced Ugandans who are making their maiden appearance in the Championship. No wonder they could not hide their joy as they were seen celebrating after the 1st leg, hoping to hammer the final nail in Police's coffin at their slaughter house in Omurdman.
Nevertheless, its not allover for the Cops as they have had ample time to return to the drawing board, do the home work, and plot to over turn the deficit as we have seen teams struggling in the 1st leg and resurrecting in the second. In 2002, SC Villa registered a historical 2-1 away win against AS Aviacao in Luanda in the same championship prompting Ugandans to think that it was a done deal only to be shocked by the Angolans with 2-0 2nd leg win at Namboole to qualify on 3-2 aggregate.
These are examples that you need not remind Police, who only need a draw with goals to eliminate the Sudanese while a goalless draw sends them to penalty shoot out.
But all will depend on the tactical plan of Police FC Coach Asuman Lubowa. As a matter of fact, he should forego his favorite 4-4-2 formation to perhaps 3-5-2 that can accommodate more mid fielders to frustrate the Sudanese who will be enjoying home support. Al Hilal is expected to throw every thing to the Ugandan visitors right from the word go. The Ugandans should hope only to get them on the break.
In the 1st leg, Lubowa opted for long balls from his usual short inter passing play, which almost ruined the team. Apart from Martin Muwanga and Mike Sserumaga, the rest of the team found it hard to fight for aerial balls with the advantaged towering Sudanese.
Right full back Simeon Masaba's unnecessary overlaps and touches almost cost the team as he was often caught in transit, luckily enough on that day Al Hilal wasn't offensive. Moreover, the technical bench took long to bring on Tonny Mawejje. Though his form has deteriorated, his experience and physical body build-up has an impact in such a game, explaining why the game shifted in police's favor when he was brought on.
The twin striking of Sserumaga and Muwanga wasted a lot of chances especially in the 2nd half. This time they should be clinical to an extent of even utilizing the 50-50 chances.
The good news for Lubowa is that his defensive trio of skipper David Iga, Lawrence Segawa and Siraje Sevume have all shaken off their injuries to combine with experienced Simeon Masaba and protect David Iga, Hannington Kalyesubula in the posts.
Work horse Dan Mubiru together with Robert Kimuli are expected to man the mid field assisted by Sula Lwanga and Dan Walusimbi on the left and right respectively.
As usual, Muwanga and the new kid on the block Sserumaga are the men assigned to hunt for the goals in Omurduman.
For URA, their 1st leg one all draw at Nyayo stadium in Nairobi counts much and its up to them to surrender the advantage Sunday afternoon at Namboole. The tax collectors only need a goalless draw to advance to the next stage though the best option to achieve this is to look for goals.
Unlike Police, the Kyambogo based side boasts of experienced players who have seen it all in games of such magnitude. Stamina though is likely to be their undoing on Sunday especially from the more athletic Kenyans who have threatened to stretch them from the word go up to the final whistle.
URA Tactician Deo Sserwada welcomes back his experienced duo of Davids, Kiwanuka and skipper Kazibwe who missed the 1st leg. Set piece specialist, Phillip Obwiny has settled his wrangles with his bosses and is likely to regain his favourite jersey 2 in the starting line up.
The Kakungulu cup holders warmed up for the encounter by thrashing Mbale Heroes 2-0 in the super league this week, thanks to Mzee wakazi Obwiny and Ronald Ssesanga's strikes. The only blow to Sserwadda is the nagging injury to his on form custodian Mulindwa Muwonge but he should not worry much since Cranes International, Ibrahim Mugisha is available to fill in the gap.
The rest of the work should be left to the fans who have been urged to attend in big numbers and cheer the country's representatives as well as pray for Uganda's other representatives in Omurdman.
Probable lines ups:
URA Ibrahim Mugisha, Richard Malinga, Phillip Obwiny, Sam Mubiru, David Kazibwe, Kasule Babadi, Ssesang Ronald, Kawesa Manko, David Kiwanuka,Fred Okello,, and Ronald Kamoga.
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First published: March 5, 2006
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.