Uganda battles nerves ahead of big Senegal tieBy ANDREW MAWNGUHYA for Daily Monitor | Thursday, June 7 2012 at 10:34
Uganda Cranes endured early nerves in their previous two competitive engagements, conceding inside the first eight minutes. In the 3-1 defeat of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers away to Congo Brazzaville, the first goal came in the third minute.
On Sunday, Djalma Campos’ goal in Angola came after just eight minutes before Uganda rallied to draw the 2014 World Cup qualifier through Emmanuel Okwi.
Coach Bobby Williamson, who led the team through an hour’s training yesterday having returned from Luanda the night before, admits early nerves are something they will have to address going into the campaign’s second game against Senegal at Namboole Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s true in both games we’ve gone behind so early,” said Bobby, “But we responded well although Brazzaville won the first game. “But that’s one of the concerns we have to address. Some players could have had early nerves.
“Against Angola we also went behind so early, which was unfortunate because we were playing well when we conceded.
“But the important thing is we responded well and got a late goal. But for me we should have won that game.” The Scot also believes that the mental strength his players showed in pressing for a late equaliser is one they should build on going forward.
“It was great in Angola the mental strength they showed. It gives you confidence and if we continue this way, the better.
“These players make mistakes sometimes but I standby them always. Some have got tough mental strength while some are still lacking. Hopefully a result against Senegal can boost us further.”
Meanwhile, the Senegalese team arrives today without Demba Ba and Moussa Sow, who also did not feature in the 3-1 victory over Liberia last Saturday.
While it is reported Ba is struggling with injury, there is no clear explanation for Sow’s absence.
But one player who inspires Okwi, Newcastle’s Papiss Demba Cisse, will be on board. “I love the way Papiss Cisse plays,” said Okwi,
“And I believe if I keep working hard, I can do what he does – even better. But on Saturday, we shall be the same on the pitch.”
Elsewhere, 45,000 tickets – 5,000 of them for pavilion (Shs80,000) – for Saturday and June 16’s Afcon qualifier against Congo Brazzaville were printed, according to Fufa vice president in charge of finance Anthony Kimuli.
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