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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Why Uganda struggled against Zimbabwe – Desabre

12:25 GMT+3 27/06/2019
Sebastien Desabre head coach of Uganda celebrates.
Uganda have four points after two games and will complete their group matches against Afcon hosts Egypt

Uganda head coach Sebastien Desabre says his team struggled early on against Zimbabwe because they had not recovered from their Africa Cup of Nations opener.

The Cranes won their opening game Group A against DR Congo 2-0 and needed maximum points against the Warriors to secure progress to the Afcon knockout phase.

“I think that we lacked energy in the first half, due to our efforts to beat the DR Congo,” Desabre told Goal in an interview after the match.

“Zimbabwe had a day more rest, this plays [a part] in a competition like this, even if we ended the game strongly.  I think using a lot of effort against the DRC and having a day less [to rest] explains it.

“The fitness level was not very good because we gave some effort against Congo, because they are a good team, and also because Zimbabwe had one day more to rest because they played on Friday.

“Zimbabwe have a good team, good organisation, good ball players in good positions, so it’s dangerous. So our tactic was to play man-to-man on the full-back, and I think it was a success today.”

The Frenchman admitted the team missed Murshid Juuko, who was rested as a precaution.

“It’s true [we missed Juuko] - Juuko missed the [match] today because he has a little pain in the hamstring and so I decided to keep him on the bench today,” Desabre continued.

“When he plays maybe my team is better, we missed [him] today when we were under-pressure - we have other players and we need to be fit to play a match at this level and, with his pain, it was difficult.”

The draw enabled Uganda to remain second in the group on four points, while Egypt have six points from two matches played.