By Lwesabula Baker
After playing a trail game against Tunisia yesterday, The Uganda Cranes head tactician Milutin Sredejovic Micho dropped three local based players to reach his final 23 man squad to play at the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Uganda cranes suffered a 2-0 defeat in their first preparatory game played yesterday against Tunisia thanks to the two goals scored by Hamza Lahmar in the minute (7) and Mohamed Ali Yâakoubi in the 47th minute after well laid free kicks that found Uganda cranes goal keepers (Slam Jamal and Benjamin Ochan) flat footed.
The former SC Villa and Rwanda head coach knifed Benjamin Ochan and Muzamir Mutyaba both from current Uganda premier league table leaders Kampala Capital City Authority and Proline Soccer Club’s Edrisa Lubega.
Micho’s final 23 will now head to Dubai for another training camp that shall involve two high profile friendlies against Slovakia and Ivory Coast before flying to AFCON finals that expected to start on January 14, 2017 with hosts Gabon playing Guinea Bissau.
The Serb international coach who included five locally based players (including three from KCCA FC) in his squad named three goal keepers 7 defenders, 7 midfielders and 6 strikers
Cranes will kick start their AFCON tournament against Ghana’s Black Stars at the Port Gentil Stadium on 17th January well as their second game will be against the Egypt on 21st January in Port Gentil before playing Mali in the last group game on the 25th January 2017 in Oyem.
Cranes has not played at the AFCON finals for close to 39 years since the 1978 finals held in Ghana where Cranes lost 2-0 to hosts Ghana in the finals.
Full Uganda Cranes 23 man squad with their Shirt numbers (in Bold)
Goal Keepers: 1 – Robert Odongkara (Saint George, Ethiopia), 18 – Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa) and 19 – Magoola Salim Omar (El Merriekh, Sudan)
Defenders: 2 – Joseph Ochaya (KCCA), 4 – Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), 5 – Isaac Isinde, 12 – Denis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), 14 – Nico Wadada Wakiro (Vipers, Uganda), , 20 – Awany Timothy Dennis (KCCA, Uganda) and 22- Batambuze Shafik (Tusker, Kenya)
Midfielders: 3 – Geoffrey Kizito (Than Quang Ninh, Vietnam), 6 – Tony Mawejje (Thotur, Iceland), 8 – Khalid Aucho (Baroka, South Africa), 13 – Moses Oloya (Hanoi T and T, Vietnam), 15 – Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya), 16 – Hassan Mawanda Wasswa (Nijmeh, Lebabon) and 23 – Azira Michael (Colorado Rapids, USA)
Strikers: 7 – Sentamu Junior Yunus (Ilves, Finnland), 9 -Geofrey Sserunkuma (KCCA, Uganda), 10 – Luwagga William Kizito (Rio Ave, Portugal), 11– Geoffrey Massa (Baroka, South Africa), 17 – Faruku Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium), and 21– Muhammad Shaban (Onduparaka, Uganda)