Senegal, Uganda in make or break affair
As the penultimate round of the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualification descends upon us this weekend, the continent will have its eyes and ears to Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth biggest city and host of Group J’s decider between Senegal and Uganda.
The two clash at the neutral ground – thanks to a ban on Dakar for home crowd violence last year – on Saturday with work for each cut out.
Senegal top the group with nine points, one ahead of Uganda. Micho Sredojevic’s Uganda Cranes must beat Senegal to book a place in the play-offs while Alain Giresse’s Lions of Teranga will do with a draw, just like they did in Kampala in the first leg.
And the Frenchman’s West African side go into the tie as favourites, at least on paper. Senegal have scored more (eight against Uganda’s five) and conceded fewer goals (four against Uganda’s five) than any other side in Group J and Micho will be aware of that. But the Serb, Micho, is intent of making doubters eat their words.
“We know Senegal are not better than us in motivation, in fighting spirit, we believe that we shall do our best to give a good performance and result.”
Captain Andy Mwesigwa, if passed fit, will partner Isaac Isinde in central defence and together with Denis Guma and Godfrey Walusimbi will ensure the likes of Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce) and Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow) are not given liberty in the forbidden area.
Hassan Wasswa, Geoffrey Kizito and Tonny Mawejje will have to be at their best in the middle of the park to thwart West Ham’s Mouhamed Diamé and SK Bramm’s Stéphane Badji while Martin Mutumba and Moses Oloya, odds on to start, will be charged with providing Emmanuel Okwi opportunities.
World Cup qualifier, Saturday, Sept 7
Senegal vs Uganda, 11pm, EAT
3 - Times Uganda and Senegal have met recently
1- Senegal win(s)
0- Uganda wins
77 - Uganda Fifa ranking
78 - Senegal Fifa ranking
R. Odongkara, A. Mwesigwa, I. Isinde, D. Guma, G. Walusimbi, W. Hassan, G. Kizito, T. Mawejje, M. Oloya, M. Mutumba, E. Okwi
Subs: D. Onyango, H. Muwonge, H. Kalungi, S. Kabugo, R. Kasagga, J. Ochaya, M. Azira, B. Majjwega, H. Hamis, F. Kalanda, R. Ssentongo
Goalkeepers: Bouna Coundoul (Ethnikos), Cheikh Ndiaye (Rennes), Issa Ndiaye (Créteil)
Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Lorient), Issa Cissokho, Pape Mison Djilobodji (FC Nantes), Lamine Sané (Bordeaux), Cheikh Kouyaté (Anderlecht), Kara Mbodj (Genk), Cheikh Mbengue (Toulouse) and Pape Ndiaye Souaré (Lille).
Midfielders: Mouhamed Diamé (West Ham), Idrissa Gana Guèye (Lille), Salif Sané (Hanover), Stéphane Badji (SK Bramm) and Alfred Ndiaye (Eskishirspor).
Strikers: Sadio Mané (Salzburg), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce), Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow), Mame Birame Diouf (Hanover), Modou Sougou (Evian) and Ibrahima Baldé (Kuban Krasnodar).