After a stunning opening 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso on Sunday, the Cranes coached by 'Micho' Sredojevic have a chance to reach last eight of ChanUganda Cranes will seal a place in the quarter-finals of African Nations Championship (Chan) if they beat Zimbabwe in their second match of Group ‘B’ at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Thursday.
After a stunning opening 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso on Sunday, the Cranes, who performed dismally in their debut in 2011 edition held in Sudan – scoring just once and losing all three group matches –, will be home and dry in the last eight, if they stop Zimbabwe.
While Cranes entered this home-based players’ tournament as underdogs and will rightly have been pleased by their opening day, it is another story with their Thursday opponents, at least in the Warriors’ books.
Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa had identified Morocco as their toughest opponent in the group and made it clear after their goalless draw on Sunday that his priority had been just not to lose.
But after the Warriors struck the woodwork once and squandered several other chances in the second half, Gorowa knew they could have got a better result, and now reckons Uganda is their most important match if they are to stay chances of making the last eight.
“We hope to build on our momentum,” Gorowa told local media, “The first game in the tournament will always come with nerves for the players but now that is out of the way, we can look forwards with confidence to meeting Uganda, which will be another tough match. “Now they (players) have opened up and will be a better side on Thursday.”
Uganda coach ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is confident that his side will not be carried away by their superb show against Burkina Faso when they face the Warriors. “You have to treat each game like a final match. Although we have beaten Burkina Faso, we made some mistakes in set pieces and that means we must be alert against Zimbabwe.”
Yunus Sentamu, who scored a brace against The Stallions, will once again be relied upon to steer Cranes into the last eight. Sentamu’s combination with captain Denis Iguma was a joy to watch and should be a threat to the Warriors.