The Observer (Kampala)

25 November 2012

Uganda/Kenya: Bobby Promises Surprises Against Ethiopia

After last Saturday's hard-fought 1-0 victory over Kenya's Harambe Stars in the Cecafa Cup, Cranes coach Bobby Williamson promised Ugandans more tactical 'surprises' as the tourney progresses, writes Moses Mugalu.

Williamson's assurance is in reaction to questions why he employed and stuck to a largely ineffective three-man attack of Emma Okwi, Diego Kiiza and Brian Umony for most of the game. While the trio had a few chances, the strikers were not as clinical in finishing and Uganda had to wait until 69 minutes before midfielder Geoffrey 'Baba' Kizito nodded home the winner.

The exciting youngster headed on a well taken Denis Guma free-kick for his first goal in national team colours. But Bobby, understandably delighted on winning the opener against an unpredictable and gritty Kenya side, downplayed worries about his decision to go for the 4-3-3 formation instead of the Cranes' usual 4-4-2.

"I'm pleased with the result because Kenya is a very difficult team to beat and you expect more surprises in tactics ahead," Williamson said, avoiding a discussion on his strikers' failure to click under the new formation.

Instead, the Scot blamed Namboole's pitch surface, which he says was not good for his strikers to get their shots on target. That said, that victory was sweet revenge against the side that frustrated Uganda's 2012 Nations Cup qualification last year. The Cranes were largely perfect at the back, save for moments when Dennis Guma lost possession allowing the Kenyans to float in dangerous crosses. Otherwise the central pair of Henry Kalungi and Isaac Isinde was largely untroubled.

But against Ethiopia tomorrow, Williamson's boys face a different side known for slick passing and fast play through the middle. In the tournament's opening match, Ethiopia edged a stubborn South Sudan 1-0 using a largely experimental side that didn't showcase so much fluidity though.

Ethiopia will play at the Nations Cup finals in South Africa next January.

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