Sports News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Uganda captain and goalkeeper, Denis Onyango, says the penultimate 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Black Stars of Ghana at the Mandela National Stadium on Saturday is a must-win for them and they would not spare Ghana as they seek an important victory to brighten their chances of making it to Russia.
Onyango, who has conceded just one goal throughout the qualifiers, insists a win over Ghana in the epic clash in Kampala will see the Cranes in a strong position to fight for the sole group slot.
Uganda are currently second on the Group E log on seven points, two shy of group leaders Egypt who host bottom side Congo on Sunday. “It [the group] is still open. I think it will go until the last game, but it’s important for us to win the game which is against Ghana at home and put pressure on Egypt because they are playing away against Ghana in the last game. Ghana won’t make it easy for them,” Onyango told Kickoff.
“So for us it’s all about winning our remaining games and to see how far we can go because no one gave us a chance. We have surprised everyone,” said Onyango who plays for South African side, Mamelodi Sundowns.
The last time the two countries faced each other in a World Cup qualifier in Kampala was on July 3, 2004 when Asamoah Gyan scored a late equaliser to rescue a point for the Stars in a 1-1 drwn game as Ghana turned therir campaign around to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In a related development, Uganda coach, Moses Basena has sounded a warning that they will leave no stone unturned on Saturday as they search for an important victory, insisting that they are not bothered by the absence of some big-name players from the ghana side such as Gyan and the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan.
Basena replaced Serbian tactician Milutin Sredojevi? early this year and has masterminded Uganda’s impressive run in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers where and have a realistic chance of making it to Russia at the expense of Egypt and Ghana.
The uganda coach told Kumasi-based Nhyira FM that they were noth bothered about the players Ghana would parade in Kampala, as all they want is victory over the Stars.
“We do not care who is coming, and who is not coming to play against us on Saturday. All we know is that we are playing against the Black Stars of Ghana and we are going all out for a win,” Basena said.
“We will not underrate them if even with Gyan or no Gyan, the Ayews or no Ayews, we saw what some unknown Ghana players did against Congo in the last round of qualifiers. We are taken the game serious,”
Meanwhile, Coach Kwasi Appiah and his players have intensified their preparation for Saturday’s clash at their training basse in the Kenbyan capital, Nairobi.
Appiah’s squad has been hard hit by injuries to Gyan, midfielder Thomas Agyepong and US-based defenders Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah.
The Ghana squad includes debutants Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Malmo, USA-based Abass Mohammed, Kasim Nuhu of Swiss club Young Boys, Hearts of Oak defender Vincent Atinga and Inter Allies ace Isaac Twum.