14 June 2017

Uganda/Cape Verde: Perfect Start - Cranes' Triumph Over Cape Verde

Photo: http://allafrica.com/stories/201706140499.htmlDaily Monitor
Fufa president Moses Magogo (L) embraces Cranes keeper Onyango after the latter put on another heroic performance away from home.

It will not be until March 2018 that The Cranes will resume their quest for a berth at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, when they host Tanzania. But in the meantime, they will enjoy the break after taking early control of group L, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.

The Uganda Cranes continued their recent impressive away form in qualifiers, when a late Geoffrey Sserunkuma strike earned them a 1-0 win over Cape Verde on Sunday. It was Cranes' ninth away game in qualifiers since June 2014.

During that time, Cranes have only lost two away qualifiers, confirming the team has come of age under the tutelage of coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic. And on the balance of play, it appears realistic to believe that Uganda will be in Cameroon.

Without complacency setting in, Sserunkuma's goal has given Cranes a good head-start as they bid to finish top of the group for automatic qualification. Cranes have usually had a good home record. And weighing the opposition before them, The Cranes are a good bet to pick up nine points at home, which means they will have at least 12 points.

But considering that this victory has come against the team many expected to be the hardest in the group, Cranes confidence must only go up going forward.

After the 2017 Afcon, Micho said that the major task ahead was ensuring that the team does not keep the Afcon 2017 chapter as an endless celebration.

"We have to move on and aim to achieve more. And if I realize that some players are not aiming to work harder, they will not be in the team," Micho said in February. This is something Micho has come good on. His team to Cape Verde only had seven surviving members from the 2017 Afcon squad.

However, the disorganized travel programme, which resulted into Cranes' game with Cape Verde being postponed by 24 hours, cannot be overlooked. On another day, it will affect the team's focus, and derail the campaign.

However, on current form, it seems nothing can stand in the way of the team's ascent.

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