When it mattered most, Uganda Cranes fell short again!  With Namboole filled up with expectant fans, the Cranes played a little harder not to disappoint the Ugandan football loving fraternity only that all the chances the team got were repelled by the visitors and or went unused. With two games to play (Comoros and Botswana), we still have a chance to make it but can only pray for the best?

  • We Are Not There Yet: Uganda Cranes have made giant strides towards qualification to Afcon. As we measure those steps against sides that have been there before we realise our own inadequacies. Most of which are technical rather than monetary. We must face the facts squarely and fairly. Our players’ level of understanding the game is still miles below that of our competitors. We need to develop players who not only have a big heart but also have superior technical skills. We are so near but yet so far.
  • Quality Of Players On Paper: When you looked at the two line ups before the game, if you had to choose who the victor would be it would be a one sided choice. The bulk of the Bukinabe players play in European leagues whereas our own play in South African league. How does a center back of Lyon, France compare with that of St. George from Ethiopia? We luckily could compete but punching above our weight for long periods has its own problems, one of which is, supporters burnout expecting qualifications that will never come. You could evidently see the difference in quality, approach and technique when Burkina Faso where breaking from uncomfortable positions, they did it with ease and managed to navigate their way out of our fortress. Simply put, Stallions accomplished in Kampala, what the Cranes failed to do in Ouagadougou. 12108098_1026820170704703_4021097111669232075_n
  • Rankings Of FIFA/CAF Count For Nothing: Rankings don’t win you any games or points. They are just meant to show u how far you have come, and how far you need you to go. Performances on the pitch are the only thing that wins you games and points. Our difference in rankings with the Burkinabes didn’t win us any points.
  • Exposure: The Cranes fans and players need more games of this caliber to understand what it takes to be in the top footballing nations and to overcome mental hurdles of deciders. After the AFCON draws were made, i thought Uganda will do exceptionally well if it took 4 points out of the 2 games with Burkina Faso; one point is a good return because of the many positives that we picked in yesterday’s game.12472454_1026820174038036_9012269478219812854_n (1)
  • It’s Not Yet Over: With six points to be played for, the Cranes still have a big chance of qualification. Comoros are the dark horses of this group. The Burkinabe have to play the biggest game of their lives to get all three points away from Moroni, many have fallen and i would put my money on Comoros to win this encounter. But that only works if Uganda can get a result away to Botswana and that is a big IF.12512652_1026820517371335_999314857476156333_n
  • Fatigue Is Real: You could see that in the latter stages of the game cranes lacked the cutting edge due to fatigue. Twenty hours of flying in a commercial airline took a toll on the boys and that last push for a winning goal could not be found in their reserves. At the top were differences between teams is small it’s small off the pitch things that make a difference. Would it have been better if they had flown by chartered plane?12524414_1026820334038020_5758023690217746072_n
  • Hassan Wasswa: What would have been; a player who is composed, with great attitude, big game mentality with a small consistency of working towards his own success. These words describe millions of talents that have failed to reach their own potential due to the many distractions of life. Watching Hassan on his day he is a joy to behold. He gave us balance, strength and stability that kept us hoping till the last minute. Oh fate, how unfair you are.
  • You Reap What You Sow: Uganda Cranes reaped as much as they sowed. It’s only in politics where you can reap exponentially more than what you sowed. Sport is rather different. The amount of investment is directly proportional to the outcomes on most occasions. It’s only fair for those countries that take time to plan, invest and timely execute these plans to reap better than those that aren’t sure of if they will play the next game. The countries that prepare adequately beforehand, have better players, consistently invest billions and have healthier budgets for sports will always be invited at the high table of continental and world football extravaganzas, it’s only fair that way.12924361_1026819764038077_8656141015356459868_n
  • Uganda Cranes Are Still The Number One Brand: Having such a big crowd in a night game just washes away the fear that its profitability is going down. Many thanks to all the sponsors, fans, government and Fufa.
  • The Good Bad And Ugly: The good is the unwavering support from the fans. The bad, how does someone lock the main entrance of a national stadium and go home to sleep leaving 30,000 fans fighting through narrow exits? The ugly; that moment when Patropia entangles with Hassan Wasswa and plain clothed security men race 100m over the pitch in suits to protect national security! What do these guys smoke? If Hassan was overpowered, was there going to be a replay of Kasese fights?

By Dr. Apollo Ahimbishibwe