Unplanned moments lead to forced decisions for any project in-progress. There were big plans for Head Coach Johnathan McKinstry as he named his starting line up to take on Rwanda in Douala on Monday night at Stade de la Reunification for the Group C encounter of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2020 Finals in Cameroon.
Little did he know that his main player in the three man attack Milton Karisa would suffer an injury inside 15 minutes of the opening half and even lost him for the rest of the match.
Karisa has been in fine form and McKinstry was left pondering the next move to bring on a player who would still deliver the same job as his injured first choice star. Brian Aheebwa was called in and featured for the entire game.
Tuyisenge Jacques and Hakizimana Muhadjiri caused Uganda Cranes problems but debutant at the tournament Karim Watambala impressed. Tonny Mawejje was brought in for Bright Anukani while Ocen Ben for Viane Sekajugo.
Halid Lwaliwa missed the game with a niggling injury but is expected back for the next match. The medical team did not want to risk using him in a game that was captained by Musitafa Mujuzi.
Johnathan McKinstry-Uganda Cranes Coach
The first half of the game was really frustrating especially for players and staff. We let ourselves down in the first half. However we moved the ball alot better in the second half and created chances through the buildup play and moving the ball effectively. Most of the players in this team are featuring at CHAN for the first time and may be pressure caught up with them at this stage. There was a case for the team needing more confidence.
It is just a case of removing the fear from the players. We know we can move the ball effectively with that passing moving brand of football that will bring us success. We did not do that today. We have a big game in three days against Togo. The players know that it will be big for our next opponents because Togo lost to Morocco. Our doctors will also assess the fitness of Karisa who suffered an injury early in the game.
Karim Watambala-Uganda Cranes Midfielder
We went into the game with expectations of winning it. We never created enough chances but learnt a lot as we move into the next fixture against Togo. I am looking forward to another outing for the team if selected.
How they started
Uganda Cranes: Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Mujuzi (Capt), Patrick Mbowa, Aziizi Kayondo, Shafik Kagimu, Joackiam Ojera, Bright Anukani, Viane Ssekajugo, Karim Watambala, Milton Karisa
Rwanda Amavubi Stars: Olivier Kwizera (GK), Fitina Omborenga, Ange Mutsinzi, Thierry Manzi, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Olivier Niyonzima, Rashid Kalisa, Bertrand Iradukunda, Jacques Tuyisenge (Capt), Muhadjiri Hakizimana, Dominique Savio Nshuti