The Cranes v DR Congo @7:00pm
Algeria 1-0 Libya
ANNABA – An uphill task awaits The Cranes in Uganda’s quest to conquer the Democratic Republic of Congo at the on-going African Nations Championship – Chan 2022 competition in Algeria.
The Chan group B encounter scheduled for 7:00pm – local time, will require coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic to adjust in the selection of his starting squad – owing to the fact that there are noticeable gaps in most of the national team’s departments.
The competition, reserved for players featuring in domestic leagues of the respective participating countries, kicked off on Friday with hosts Algeria nipping Libya 1-0.
The Cranes who have continuously registered lukewarm performances at the previous Chan tournaments – having failed to progress to the knockout stage in all their five appearances would require determination to break the jinx.
The Cranes need to improve on their goal-scoring rate, which has been relatively low, scoring only eleven goals and conceding 25 in fifteen games so far, and winning only one game in last five Chan editions.
Despite facing DR Congo – the two-time former champions in this particular competition, coach Micho and team captain Milton Kariisa sounded confident in the pre-match press conference on Friday.
Micho said he believed the three weeks preparations at home and later in Tunisia with match-situations against Sudan, Cameroon, and Mali would be the magic behind the team’s performance.
He revealed that the team was mentally strong – having prepared together for nearly a month – which gives them an advantage ahead of the DR Congo clash.
Skipper Kariisa was optimistic that his teammates were working at pushing the nation out of the knockout stages – as a way of whitewashing available history.
Kariisa, Moses Waiswa, and striker Nelson Senkatuuka are some of the players, who will be returning to Chan for the second time, having participated in at least one of the previous editions.
The Cranes are grouped in B alongside Senegal, Ivory Coast and DR Congo.
The tournament that kicked off on Friday with hosts overcoming Libya 1-0, is likely to miss the defending champions – Morocco, whose chances of taking part are becoming thin by the day after the Algerian government declined to allow the team to fly directly into Algiers in what seem to be an escalations dispute over a territory.
Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2021, in a dispute over the Western Sahara, a territory annexed by Morocco in 1975. The row meant all direct flights between the two countries were suspended.
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