31 August 2016

Uganda/Comoros: Isinde Sure Cranes Will Match Pacey Comoros

Photo: Michael Kakumirizi/The Monitor
Fans await the Uganda Vs Comoros game at Mandela National Stadium.

Goals win matches but not many are won without strong defences.

Uganda's task on Sunday is pretty straightforward. Beat Comoros by any margin of goals and the Cranes will be in the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon in January next year for the first time since 1978.

Wins for both Uganda and Burkina Faso (over Botswana) will see the latter qualify automatically and the Cranes as one of the three best second-placed teams. Yet to achieve that, coach Micho Sredojevic's men will have to be just as resolute in defence as polished in attack.

As captain Geoffrey Massa leads the onslaught the other end at Namboole, tested Dennis Onyango in goal will be commanding Isaac Isinde and Hassan Wasswa among others in Uganda's defence to thwart the fast Comorians, a good number of whom ply their trade in France.

"Are they better than us?" Isinde, the St George (Ethiopia) no-nonsense defender, wondered before answering his query, "I don't think so."

The player, who has - since becoming a regular in the senior Cranes side three years ago - been impeccable in that last line of defence, added: "What I know about Comoros is that they have very fast attackers."

Having arrived in the country last month after St George wrapped yet another Ethiopian league title, Isinde has trained with the Cranes at Kisu, Namboole and IUIU Kabojja, plus faced Kenya in a friendly, which ended scoreless last evening.

He has a strong feel of what everyone in camp thinks.

"With their (Comoros) fast wingers of course, and with some players playing in Europe, we respect them," offered Isinde.

"But we also have them (players in Europe) and we know ourselves. I'm very confident we shall get the result we want to qualify. At home, we have what it takes."

With Denis Guma suspended for Sunday's match, reshuffling Wasswa from midfield to central defence, alongside Mrushid Jjuuko, and moving Isinde to right back is one of the options for Cranes coach Micho. Uganda won the away tie 1-0.

2017 AFCON QUALIFIERS (SUNDAY)

Uganda vs. Comoros, 5pm

Mandela National Stadium, Namboole

Burkina Faso vs. Botswana, 5pm

Stade du 4 August, Ouagadougou

Namboole charges: Shs25,000 (Ordinary), Shs60,000 (VIP- Blue seats) and Shs150,000 (VVIP- Orange seats)

More on This

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Uganda Cranes have endured several heartbreaking near-misses in their bid to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. Read more »

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