Kampala. With one more qualifying match to go for Uganda Cranes, and three quarters of league football still to play, it is indeed early days to predict but we can still take a trip on possibilities.
Former Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic named his entire Uganda Cranes starting XI against Comoros on September 4, 2016 at Namboole for Nations Cup finals duty that happened in Gabon the following year.
Will his successor Frenchman Sebastien Desabre borrow from Micho’s script? Well, we can only wait to find that out, just like will the players that saw off Cape Verde to qualify for the second successive Afcon finals on Saturday.
A number of current players came into Saturday’s crucial match looking to further buy into Desabre’s plans when the Frenchman names his final 23-man squad to Cameroon 2019.
Goal scorer Patrick Kaddu certainly could have literally bought himself an automatic ticket for as long as the KCCA striker stays healthy.
Vipers elegant midfielder Moses Waiswa, one of those Desabre can be proud of thrusting into the fray, Charles Lukwago, Allan Kateregga of Cape Town City and Derrick Nsibambi are some of the new blood that will be looking at Cameroon chance with optimism.
Lead striker Emmanuel Okwi, who missed last Saturday’s match through suspension, is one of those players desperate to make the finals squad.
He has been impressive so far this campaign, scoring a brace in Uganda’s 3-0 defeat of Lesotho last month.
Okwi missed Gabon finals as his form did not impress Micho at the time and is desperate to make next year’s Afcon count for him.
“After failing to make the squad for the Afcon in Gabon last year, I am very hungry to do all it takes so that I don’t miss out this time round,” said Okwi.
Notable absentees from the team that played against Comoros to confirm qualification and those that played at the finals in Gabon include retired skipper Geoffrey Massa, goalkeeper Robert Odongkara, Tonny Mawejje and Mike Azira.
Cranes squad that beat Cape Verde qualify for Afcon 2019
Starting XI vs Cape Verde: Denis Onyango, Nico Wakiro Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko, Hassan Wasswa, Denis Iguma, Khalid Aucho, Faruku Miya, Moses Waiswa, Patrick Henry Kaddu, Isaac Muleme
Used subs: Allan Kyambadde, Edrisa Lubega, Timothy Dennis Awany
Unused subs: Jamal Salim, Nicholas Sebwato, Joseph Ochaya, Isaac Isinde, Tadeo Lwanga, Allan Kateregga, Milton Karisa, Derrick Nsibambi
Suspended: Emma Okwi
Cranes squad that beat Comoros to qualify for Afcon 2017
Starting XI: Denis Onyango, Nicholas Wadada, Joseph Ochaya, Isaac Isinde, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Tonny Mawejje, Moses Oloya, Geoffrey Massa (Captain), Farouk Miya and William Luwagga Kizito
Substitutes: Jamal Salim (G.K), Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Yunus Sentamu, Godfrey Walusimbi, Ivan Ntege, Emmanuel Okwi, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda
Uganda Cranes 23-man squad to Gabon 2017
Robert Odongkara, Joseph Ochaya, Geoffrey Kizito, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Tony Mawejje, Yunus Sentamu, Khalid Aucho, Geofrey Sserunkuma, William Kizito Luwagga, Geoffrey Massa, Denis Iguma, Moses Oloya, Nico Wadada Wakiro, Godfrey Walusimbi, Hassan Mawanda Wasswa, Faruku Miya, Denis Onyango, Salim Omar Magoola, Timothy Dennis Awany, Muhammad Shaban, Batambuze Shafik, Azira Michael