Micho: Egypt Friendlies Made Uganda Stronger

Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has said playing against six-time African champions Egypt and the North Africa conditions has made Uganda Cranes stronger and a difficult team to beat.

The Cranes fell twice in two consecutive international friendlies played on Monday and Wednesday in Cairo.

Egypt1Coach Bob Bradley’s team recorded a 3-0 victory over the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup champions. It was a similar score when the Egyptian team beat the Cranes on August 14 in El Gouna.

“Cranes will definitely come back from Cairo mentally stronger because they travelled to a country where they were given tough conditions and stronger opposition to play against,” the Serb tells Red Pepper Online.

“They were under pressure to succeed in those conditions and now I can see that Cranes have learned how to play well outside the country, as well as in the region.

“Obviously Egypt is the best footballing nation in Africa, there is no denying that. But East African countries need to be stronger and fight more for results like how Egypt do.

Ahmed Eid netted the first goal, giving goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan no chance. The Cranes team attacked but failed to find the net as the first half ended 1-0.

On resumption, the hosts brought on the fresh legs of Ahmed Al Shenawy for Mohamed Sobhy. The substitute was on hand to create the second goal when he crossed well for Mohamed Abdul Shafy to score after 76 minutes. Ahmed Samir made it 3-0.

The Cranes were also unlucky to miss a penalty in the 85th minute when KCCA FC attacking midfielder Brian Majwega failed to score. Substitute Simon Okwi, who replaced Frank Kalanda, was very wasteful after missing several scoring opportunities for coach Micho’s team.

Micho was, however, happy that his youthful side had got exposure by playing two matches in two days against the Egyptians.

“We have learnt something as we prepare for the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup and the 2014 Africa Nations Championship in South Africa,” said Micho.

The Egypt used the two matches against Uganda to prepare for their first leg 2014 World Cup qualifier play-off encounter against Ghana on October 15 in Kumasi. On Monday Egypt beat the Cranes 2-0.

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