Afcon 2023 Qualifiers: Uganda vs Niger Preview - Kick-off time, TV channel, squad news

Youcef Belaili of Algeria attempts to get past the Uganda defence Bevis Mugabi.BackpagePix.

Uganda will seek to earn their first win in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign when they take on Niger at St Mary’s Kitende on Wednesday.

The Cranes registered a false start in their quest to reach the finals set for Ivory Coast after losing their Group F opener 2-0 against former champions Algeria at Stade du 5 Juillet on Saturday.

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Goals from Aissa Mandi and Youcef Belaili subdued the East African nation in North Africa.

Meanwhile, their opponents Niger failed to make maximum use of playing at home as they battled to a 1-1 draw against Tanzania at Stade de l’Amitie. After Taifa Stars had taken an early lead courtesy of George Mpole, Le Mena The Mena earned the equaliser from Daniel Sosah to snatch a vital point.

GameUganda vs Niger
DateWednesday, June 08, 2022
Time16:00 EAT

TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch

Online StreamingTV Channel
Fufa Facebook pageUBC

Squads & Team News

Uganda Cranes Head coach Milutin Sredojevic.Fufa.

Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic will welcome into the squad forward Fahad Bayo, who missed the opener against the Desert Warriors owing to lack of proper travel documents.

The 52-year-old Serbian coach has vowed to show the visitors that Kitende is a fortress “where nobody can come and resist all our plans.”

“Technically and tactically we are playing against a team with French football school and when you have that in mind, we need to have an adequate approach that will practically push us in the direction of keeping our identity and showing that Kitende is a fortress where nobody can come and resist all our plans,” Sredojevic said as quoted by Fufa website.

“The mental strength and spirituality of the players after the days in camp are perfect. We are fully aware of what it takes in this group and since this match is at home, we are in a situation where we want to give it all.”

His sentiments were echoed by the Cranes captain Emmanuel Okwi, who said the players are ready to use the advantage of playing at home and get maximum points.

Kalidou Koulibaly of Senegal clears ball from Emmanuel Okwi of Uganda.BackpagePix.

“We look forward to the game against Niger on Wednesday. In football you never think about the past,” Okwi told the same portal. “You only think of what is before you and that is in the future.

“So we are looking forward to tomorrow [Wednesday] to make sure we rectify our mistakes and get the best possible result which is a win.”

Meanwhile, Niger coach Jean-Michel Cavalli has got no injury worries heading into the fixture.

Match Preview

Uganda and Niger have met six times with the Cranes managing two wins, one draw and suffering three defeats.

The last time the two nations faced off was in 2018 during a friendly match in which Niger won 2-1 at Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey. In 2014, they also met in another build-up which Le Mena The Mena won 2-0 at the same venue.

The other two meetings came during the 2008 World Cup qualifiers when Uganda beat Niger 1-0 in the first leg meeting at Namboole Stadium courtesy of an Ibrahim Sekagya goal.

However, in the return leg, Niger upped their game to defeat the Cranes 3-1 with goals from Ismael Alassanne, who notched a double, and Kamilou Daouda while Denis Obua pulled a goal back for the East African side.

The other win Uganda have registered against Niger came in 2007 during the Afcon qualifiers when they defeated them 3-1 at Namboole Stadium. This was after the two nations had settled for a 0-0 draw in the first meeting held in Niamey.

In the other group fixture also on Wednesday, Tanzania will host Algeria at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.