Cranes coach Moses Basena is optimistic his charges will beat Rwanda tomorrow in the first leg of their African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier and give his tenure a much-needed winning start, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.
The last time Rwanda beat Uganda in a competitive game was in December 2007 at the semi-final stage of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
It was Andy Mwesigwa’s extra-time own goal, that gave the Amavubi stars bragging rights. But Cranes have won all the five subsequent ties since then, and thus have the psychological edge when the two sides meet tomorrow at the St. Mary’s stadium in Kitende.
However, this game has come at a time, when Cranes have their first indigenous coach since 2004 in Basena. And only a win will validate him for a possible permanent deal.
Basena acknowledged that games against Rwanda have usually been tense. Yet, after the friendly match with Azam on Tuesday, he is confident in his team: “Conceding two goals means we did not defend very well. We must cut out that threat against Rwanda because an away goal can be the difference.”
However, Cranes showed their ‘never-say-die’ spirit by equalizing twice. This pleased Basena. In addition, with this game in Kitende, Basena will rely a lot on the Vipers SC players, to whom this is their home ground.
But also, with Paul Mucureezi, who scored four against South Sudan and forward Derrick Nsibambi fit again, after he was concussed against South Sudan, the odds are in Basena’s favour to guide Cranes to a sixth successive win over Rwanda.
AFRICAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER
Saturday@4pm: Uganda v Rwanda - Kitende