Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed he was amazed by Ben Ocen’s red card against Cameroon during a pre-African Nations Championship tie on Friday at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Uganda were reduced to 10 men when Ocen was shown a straight red card for a rough challenge on Alfred Meyong after 12 minutes. A minute later, the Indomitable Lions took the lead when Banga Bindjelme headed into the net from a cross delivered by Felix Oukine.
Uganda fought back and with 20 minutes left to play, Milton Karisa scored after a build-up that involved Shafiq Kagimu and Joachim Ojera. The hosts were also reduced to 10 men when Basile Yamkam was red-carded in the 90th minute with the score tied at 1-1.
“I have to watch it again, but I don’t believe the red card because it amazed me,” McKinstry said as per Football256.
“But I said to the players at half-time we wanted to come here and prepare for the tournament and we were given a great opportunity to play against the hosts a man down for the larger part of the game.
“And while most teams, when faced with such a [red card] situation, will get men behind the ball and play direct football; we encouraged our players to keep playing and be confident.
“And for large parts of the game we were the team creating chances from open play and we couldn’t be more pleased with the players.”
Despite fighting back to draw with the former African champions, McKinstry said there are still things that need to be worked on.
“There are things to be improved naturally, but we felt that we played good football. We know we have speed in the team and on the bench,” he added.
“We said coming into the tournament that it is not about the result. It was about taking on very good opposition and getting us ready for the main tournament.
“It was about taking the game to Cameroon and the equaliser was well deserved and on another day, we might have come back and won it.
“It was great for the fitness of the players and the tactical development of the players and also important for growing the confidence of the players.”
The Cecafa champions will face Niger and Zambia in the remaining fixtures of the mini-tournament.