14 February 2013

Uganda/Cameroon: Tough Times Await URA FC in Cameroon

In a repeat of the 2007 Caf Champions League preliminary round, Paul Nkata's URA FC travel to Cameroon expecting nothing but a rude welcome on and off the pitch, writes John Vianney Nsimbe.

The last time the two teams faced off in Cameroon, the Taxmen cried foul about the events that led up to the tie. On match day, they flew an energy-sapping 1,000km in a helicopter from Yaounde to the match venue in Darua before being served insufficient food.

Then URA coach Frank 'Video' Anyau claimed the team trained for just 30 minutes before kickoff. URA went on to lose 0-3 and bowed out after a goalless return leg in Kampala. Such is the harassment they faced that going into Saturday's first leg, little is expected to change. To compile the misery, URA is enduring a poor run of form that has seen them win only one of their last five matches.

Before departure, Nkata said he would return to basics. This includes letting players play the game as simply and naturally as it comes and also getting them in their most favoured positions. This was evident in their 1-0 build-up win over Sports Club Victoria on Tuesday.

The Taxmen played a 4-5-1 system to add to the 4-4-2 system Nkata has also been trying out of late. On top of practising off the ball movement, control and passing, the two formations come naturally to Ugandan players if the strategy is right. Nonetheless, the intensity of a friendly match cannot be compared to a competitive match.

In essence, the Coton Sport tie will be a different ball game. The fact that URA is struggling - yet badly needs a result - it will be important for Nkata to pick players that are ready to fight for the cause. Those are the hardworking players that will give more than 100%.

However, peering into the squad Nkata selected, not many players seem to have the 'never say die' attitude apart from skipper Simeon Masaba, Sam Mubiru, Sam Senkoomi and Oscar Agaba.

URA Squad

Goalkeepers: Yasin Mugabi and Allan Owiny

Defenders: Simeon Masaba, Derrick Walulya, Allan Munaaba, Sam Senkoomi, Sam Mubiru

Midfielders: Moses Feni, Augustine Nsumba, Osama Farouk, Oscar Agaba, Owen Kasule, Saidi Kyeyune, Yayo Lutimba

Forwards: Erisa Sekisambu and Benson Ociti

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