Today all roads lead to Mandela National Stadium in Namboole where the National team Uganda Cranes take on West African outfit Guinea.
The team which is in high spirits after registering a respectable draw against the Black stars of Ghana in Kumasi jetted in the country early Monday morning and had a light training session in the evening under floodlights in preparation for this AFCON qualifier.
The West African who landed in the country before the cranes underwent serious medical checks following a serious Ebola outbreak in that part of the continent. However their coach Michel Dussuyer says he and his team are ready and not thinking about the disease that has killed over two thousand people now.
He also acknowledged the fact that the Cranes have a formidable home record at Namboole and heaped praises on a strong spine of the team that includes goalkeeper Denis Onyango, Midfielder Kizito Baba and Striker Geoffrey Massa who returns today after missing the Ghana game under unclear circumstances.
“It is going to be a difficult match but we are well prepared for the challenge” The Guinea coach warned.
Today’s match will be played under floodlights and kickoff is at 7:30PM. And Cranes are expected to face a stun challenge from the technically gifted and physically endowed West Africans who themselves are riding on high moral after beating Emmanuel Adebayor’s fancied Togo 2-1 on a neutral ground in Casablanca. They will however miss the services of striker Idrissa Sylla who was red carded in that game against Togo after scoring the winner.
They will rely on the experience of AC Milan right back Kevin Constant, defender Kamil Zayatte and Borussia Monchengladbach striker Ibrahima Traore who form the spine of that team with plenty of Experience in the Nations Cup having featured in tournament in 1970, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1994,1998,2004,2006,2008 and 2012. They made the quarterfinals in 2004 and 2008.
Meanwhile yesterday, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) in conjunction with Nile Breweries under the brand Nile Special lager launched a reloaded Uganda Cranes Na-Mutima campaign dubbed ‘Cranes Fund’.
Under the arrangement, the fans will have to buy a Nile Special product, send the code under the bottle crown to 8888 and a Ug.shs 30 levy will be automatically credited to Uganda Cranes. The campaign runs through the group stage qualifiers (September- November). Fans will stand a chance to win instant prizes like tickets to the games, mobile money and airtime.
Entry fee for today’s game is 20,000/= (Ordinary) and 50,000/= (VIP).