Today at 4: 45pm
Uganda vs. São Tomé e Príncipe
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Numbers don’t lie and true, the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe are rank outsiders in world football.
Ranked 179th by FIFA, the Santomeans are 101 places below Uganda, who host them at Mandela Nationa Stadium, Namboole this afternoon.
But Sao Tome could prove a hard nut. Uganda’s coach Sebastien Desabre is still experimenting with his players and today will be the first time he works with some of the players yet his opposite Gustavo Clemente has had quite some time with his players.
“This is my first time with the senior team and I want to use these two forthcoming friendly matches to know the ability of each player ahead of African Cup of Nation’s Qualifier games against Tanzania and Lesotho later this year,” Desabre said.
This will be his first home game having managed the Cranes at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco early this year.
Sao Tome, a Portuguese-speaking state consisting of two main islands off the coast of Gabon, have Clemente in charge of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after he replaced Antonio do Rosario who was in charge of a national team that sprang a surprise in 2017 qualifiers by coming from behind to beat Libya 2-1 in Sao Tome.
On top of that they have decent players in striker Luis Leal who plays in Argentina with Newell’s Old Boys, midfieder Jair Nunes of Tenerife who are 12th in the Spanish Segunda and left back Jordão Diogo, who plies his trade in Greek premier side Levadiakos.
Desabre could be experimenting with a weaker side, but the Santomeans will have an eye on glory.
Uganda hosts São Tomé and Príncipe today before playing Malawi three days later.