Uganda Cranes forward Tony Odur sat out Wednesday’s training sessions at Mandela National Stadium following a crucial 0-1 away win in the first leg of the 2014 CHAN qualifier against Tanzania last weekend. The Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA FC) striker picked up a hamstring during Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Taifa Stars in Dar es Salaam. Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic’s plans in the first leg were shredded as early as the 10th minute when Odur sustained a suspected groin injury forcing him to introduce young URA forward Frank Kalanda. “Odur has been rested as a precautionary measure after picking up some knocks,” Uganda team doctor Dick Kasolo told Pepper Sport at midday Wednesday. “He will rest for four days after which he will be examined again and when found fit, will resume training.”
Cranes Resumes Drills
KCCA FC youngster Simon Okwi and Police FC striker David Kasirye have been drafted into the squad as replacements just in case the skilful striker does not pass the fitness test while Odur’s strike partner Patrick Edema is in Portugal for trials with Club Esperanca da Lagos. Micho has received a timely boost ahead of the match on July 27, with the expected return of experienced left back Habib Kavuma from suspension. “The absence of Edema and Odur has an impact on the game but we are going to replace them,” Micho said.
New additions to Uganda Cranes CHAN team Vipers goalkeeper Ismail Watenga, Habib Kavuma (KCCA) Hashim Sempala (BUL), Aziz Kemba (BUL), William Wadri, Augustine Nsumba (URA), Willy Kavuma (Express), David Kasirye (URA) and Simon Okwi (KCCA) all trained under Micho’s watchful eye in the first training session after 3 days of rest.
Taifa Stars have promised to turn the tide around against the Uganda Cranes in their own backyard after a fortnight and ensure that they take away the advantage from the first leg. According to Taifa Star’s coach Kim Poulsen, he will be ready for the return leg in Uganda and will do all in their power to ensure that they get back their CHAN campaigns on track. Poulsen insisted that the team’s mood will not be dampened by the absence of crucial players among them midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto and defender Shomari Kapombe who are away on trials.
Stars are hoping to take advantage of the home grounds and the coach believes that they are well focused to shock Cranes at home despite being outplayed in the first leg. “I identified many gaps in the first leg and we (coaches) are working on every individual player because they all possess the ability to improve,” Micho intimated to Pepper Sport when asked about what bearings the first leg had on the return fixture set for July 27 in Kampala.
“But most of all, we respect Poulsen’s side and know so well that after the match in Dar they immediately ran to Mwanza to prepare for the second leg though my message to him is that we will attack until the last second,” he added.
Cranes will hold double trainings until Saturday when they enter residential training.