Uganda Cranes are on a must win mission when they face defending champions Morocco in Group C Matchday 3 game of the ongoing Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), Cameroon 2021 at Stade de la Reunification in Douala.
The Atlas Lions, champions at home in 2018, entered the tournament well by beating debutants Togo 1-0, but were later held to a goalless draw with Rwanda, a draw that shed doubts about a successive title defense campaign.
Uganda has started the campaign on a slow pace, having a barren stalemate with Rwanda before falling to Togo Sparrowhawks.
Northern Irish coach Johnny McKinstry still believes they can do it to the next round, but they will have no other choice but to win.
“We can beat Morocco by correcting our mistakes,” McKinstry said in the pre-match press conference. “We will certainly have opportunities, the game will be open, and we can hurt them.”
Morocco have to avoid defeat against Uganda to grab a place in the quarterfinals. Coach Houcine Ammouta knows it’s not going to be an easy mission as the Ugandans have nothing to lose, going into the game with a lone point and needing nothing but a win.
Ammouta, who won the 2017 Total CAF Champions League title with Casablanca giants Wydad, will once again wait for the 2018 top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi to deliver, having gone two matches without scoring. “He’s an important player for us. He might be off form, but I have no doubt that he can make the difference in big games,” the Moroccan coach said.
This is the second time Uganda and Morocco in CHAN history, after the Atlas Lions 3-1 victory in 2014 group stage.