Uganda vs. Ghana, 4:00 PM
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Live on SuperSport 3
The penultimate Group ‘E’ World Cup qualifying game between Uganda and Ghana this afternoon stands to be the most important of the campaign for either sides.
Separated by just two points in second and third places respectively, Uganda and Ghana cannot afford to slip as group leaders have until tomorrow to play their home game against already eliminated Congo.
Uganda Cranes interim coach Moses Basena’s continued stay at the helm of the most prestigious coaching job in Uganda will largely depend on this game as his short term contract nears its end.
Uganda is playing against all odds as they have never qualified to the finals of the World Cup in their history, yet here they stand on the brink of history.
Ghana’s last visit to Uganda ended in a 1-0 defeat in 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
Coupled with Uganda’s stunning home win over Egypt last month, the Cranes will not be wrong to fancy another triumph on Saturday.
Basena’s side need three points as much as Ghana. Two points below Egypt, the consequences will be dire for the Cranes should they miss out on full points and the Pharaohs win.
“This is almost a game of our lives. We must win to stay in contention for the World Cup slot,” striker Emmanuel Okwi told FUFA.com.
A new-look Ghana squad that misses several first team players including Andre Ayew and brother Jordan, John Boye, Afriyie Acquah, Asamoah Gyan, Christian Atsu, Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Thomas Agyepong, have everything to play for at Namboole.
Four points adrift of group leaders Egypt and two behind Uganda, the Black Stars need to win at all costs to remain in the race, even if the victory could be rendered useless should the Pharaohs beat bottom-placed Congo on Sunday.
Skipper Denis Onyango has opted for mind games as he hopes to pile pressure on the Ghanaians.
He said: “The group is still open. It’s important for us to win the game at home and put pressure on Egypt because they are playing away against Ghana in the last game. Ghana won’t make it easy for them.”
By George Katongole