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Vital lessons learnt as Uganda Cranes slip to Ethiopia in international build up

International Build Up: Ethiopia 2-1 Uganda Cranes

Uganda Cranes picked up important lessons from the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ethiopia during the international build up match played at the Bahir Dar Stadium on Sunday.

A goal in each half from Nasir Abubeker and Abel Yelew inspired the Walia Stars to victory.

Second half substitute Yunus Sentamu pulled back a consolation for the visitors.

Sentamu was one of the six players introduced in the second half.

Yunus Sentamu during the game

At the kick off of the final stanza, Sentamu replaced Abdu Lumala, goalkeeper Charles Lukwago took over Isima Watenga’s slot and Enock Walusimbi was rested for Ibrahim Orit.

Midfielder Khalid Aucho later paved way for youngster Bobosi Byaruhanga in the 63rd minute.

Six minutes later, captain Emmanuel Arnold Okwi was withdrawn and Richard Basangwa took over before the final change was made as Moses Waiswa got displaced by Shafik Kuchi Kagimu.

Six players were unused substitutes; goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Abdul Aziizi Kayondo, Kenneth Ssemakula, Steven Desse Mukwala and Innocent Wafula.

Two others; Tadeo Lwanga and Martin Kizza were not considered for the match due to injury and mere rest respectively.

Fitness coach Franck Plaine leads the warm up session at Bahir Dar International Stadium
Micho being interviewed by the media at Bahir Dar International Stadium after the build up game

Head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic acknowledged the value of this match that painted the real picture of the expectations from the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Mali.

‘The match was very important as it pointed out to the test of the players. We got the answers because in football you either win or learn the lesson. We saw shortcomings of the players and what they are capable of and how best to improve before the FIFA World Cup qualifiers’ Micho stated.

The head coach’s message was re-echoed aloud by the captain Emmanuel Arnold Okwi.

‘The game against Ethiopia exposed us and it has given us the due challenge on how to improve amicably before the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Kenya and Mali are not exactly like Ethiopia but we shall further check ourselves’ Okwi disclosed moments after the match.

Milton Karisa, one of the few players who lasted for the entire duration of the match was humbled for the challenge faced in thy midst.

‘Fine, we took a long time without playing competitively because of the national lockdown back home, but, we need to stand up and rise highest’ Karisa stated.

Uganda Cranes delegation sets off for Nairobi on Monday evening aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

Advance party head Paul Mukatabala is already in Nairobi ready to receive the team.

Uganda Cranes XI Vs Ethiopia: [L-R Standing] – Khalid Aucho, Halid Lwaliwa, Denis Iguma, Murushid Juuko, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Isima Watenga and Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Captain). Front Row – Moses Waiswa, Milton Karisa, Abdu Lumala and Enock Walusimbi

Uganda Cranes XI: Isima Watenga (46’ Charles Lukwago), Enock Walusimbi (’46 Ibrahim Orit), Joseph Benson Ochaya, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Denis Iguma, Khalid Aucho (63’ Bobosi Byaruhanga), Moses Waiswa (84’ Shafik Kuchi Kagimu), Abdu Lumala (46’ Yunus Sentamu), Milton Karisa, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi – Captain (69’ Richard Basangwa)

Subs Not Used: Joel Mutakubwa (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Abdul Aziizi Kayondo, Kenneth Ssemakula, Steven Desse Mukwala, Innocent Wafula

Not available: Tadeo Lwanga and Martin Kizza

Ethiopia XI: Fasil Gebremicheal (G.K), Shemeles Bekele (Captain), Desta Yohannes, Yared Baye, Asrat Tonjo, Magiot Debebe, Gatoch Panom, Bezabele Meleyu, Nasir Abubeker, Gebremicheal Amanuel, Abel Yelew

Subs: Jemal Tasew (G.K), Frew Getahune (G.K), Suleman Hamid, Surefel Dagnachew, William Solomon, Cherenet Gugusa, Shemeket Gugusa, Amanuel Yohannes, Menaf Awel, Solomon Tefese, Alemu Fitum, Yihun Endeshaw

Shemeles Bekele exchange badges with Emmanuel Arnold Okwi as the referees keep a keen eye

Match officials:

  • Center Referee: Haileyesus Bazezew (PhD) – Ethiopia
  • Assistant Referee 1: Kindle Mussie – Ethiopia
  • Assistant Referee 2: Yibekal Dessalegne – Ethiopia
  • Fourth official: Lemma Nigussie – Ethiopia
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