International friendly Uganda 3-0 Mauritania
Francis Olaki helped Cranes to a 3-0 victory over Mauritania on Thursday in an international friendly at Mandela National Stadium as the Uganda ‘B’ intensified preparations for the 2014 Africa Nations Championship in South Africa.
The Soana striker came off the bench to score on his first international cap four minutes after the hour mark and put the result beyond doubt, tapping home a deflected cross from close range Richard Kasagga drop-down header. Uganda’s substitutes had earlier combined to deliver the second, with Brain Majwega cutting in a powerful corner from the left to set up Savio Kabugo for a header from the edge of the 16- area in the 60th minute. the deadlock
Majwega had earlier broken the deadlock for the CHAN-bound Uganda Cranes with a clinical free kick in the 50th minute 30 meters away from goal .
Uganda has not been firing on all cylinders since beating Tanzania in the qualifiers, yet the ruthless edge that epitomized Cranes Coach, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic first games in charge of the national team continues to shine through.
There were few chances of note in the opening 45 minutes, with last-ditch blocks and wayward finishing keeping the score goalless with Ivan Ntege, Yunus Sentamu and midfielder and skipper Denis Guma the standout performers for the Cranes. Senior Six vacist Sentamu however missed four glorious chances and will have to be more lethal infront of goal to impress in South Africa.
Uganda wasted decent chances during a penalty-box melee in the early minutes of the second half — missed opportunities which the team was left to rue as Cranes took control of the game.
Mauritania were left chasing shadows for the remainder of the game and it was no surprise when Olaki completed the scoring with almost half an hour remaining.
In the post-match press briefing, the 40 year-old said he believes his players have what it takes to get results at the tournament.“We still have few days to polish up, but those selected know what is expected of them and they will hold the national flag high,” explained the Coach.
Micho said although some of the players will be making their debuts in a big tournament, the likes of Hassan Wasswa Mawanda and goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan who have featured in South African teams before will carry the team.
Uganda is pooled alongside Zimbabwe, Morocco and Burkina Faso. Although Micho has said Morocco will be the most difficult team because of the vast exposure of their players, he added that they must also be very cautious against the other two teams in the group.
“Our mission is to first make it through the Group stage then we start planning for the knock out stage,” he added.