By Our Reporter
Saturday, 1st June:
1st Quarter final: Lesotho Likuena Vs Uganda Cranes (4 PM)
2nd Quarter final: Zimbabwe Vs Comoros (6:30 PM)
Sunday, 2nd June 2019:
3rd Quarter final: South Africa Vs Botswana (4 PM)
4th Quarter final: Zambia Vs Malawi (6:30 PM)
Uganda Cranes will play Lesotho in the first quarterfinal match at the 2019 COSAFA Championship on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
The match will take place at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, a suburb of Durban, South Africa.
After two weeks of intensive training, the Abdallah Mubiru led team departed for South Africa on Wednesday, where they have had three training sessions.
Head coach Mubiru is confident that his team will overcome Lesotho following their great preparations for the competition.
“We are in a very good shape to lock horns with Lesotho. We have had great preparations coming into this competition and everyone is ready for the task at hand,” he said.
It is always a bit complicated starting a tournament at the knock-out stage as other teams are already used to the dynamics having played in the group stages.
The issue will be a challenge to Uganda but the good thing is that Lesotho are also starting at a similar stage.
The Crocodiles have always been one of the average sides in this competition since its inception in 1997.
Their best finish came in 2000 when they lost 3-0 to Zimbabwe in the final of the fourth edition.
Adam Siddom’s side have also finished third (2018) and fourth on two occasions (2013 and 2017).
Lesotho and Uganda Cranes were in the same group of the 2019 AFCON qualification campaign. Cranes won group games, 3-0 at Mandela National Stadium and 2-0 in Maseru.
Mubiru’s charges will heavily rely on the skipper and experienced defender Isaac Isinde, midfield orchestrator Muzamir Mutyaba and Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma.
Last season’s Uganda Premier league top scorer, Juma Balinya alongside Paul Mucureezi and Nicholas Kasozi are expected to put up explosive performances.
Lesotho on the other hand have a strong and experienced side with the likes of striker Motebang Sera, Tsepo Toloane, Nkau Lerotholi and left back Bokang Sello
Talisman Sera alongside Nkoto Masoabi are expected to guide the Southern African country to dreamland.
On the same day, Zimbabwe will face Comoros and on to Sunday hosts South Africa will entertain tricky Botswana at 4pm before Zambia face off will Malawi at 6:30Pm.
Zimbabwe are the reigning and most successful team in the competition with six titles. Uganda are a guest Nation at the competition that will climax on 8th June in South Africa.
Uganda Cranes Team:
Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC) and James Alitho (URA FC)
Defenders: Paul Patrick Mbowa (URA FC), Paul Willa (Police), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), John Revita (Express FC), Isaac Isinde (Kirinya-Jinja S.S), Hassan Musana (KCCA FC), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC)
Midfielders: Bright Anukani (Proline), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA FC), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Allan Kayiwa (Tooro United FC), Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City FC), Michael Birungi Komunda (Express)
Forwards: Daniel Isiagi Opolot (Al Nasir, Egypt), Juma Balinya (Police FC), Nelson Senkatuka (right Stars FC), Dan Muzeyi Serunkuuma (Vipers SC)