By Moses Wantimba
Uganda have seemingly bounced back to reflect on the good times of the 1970s when the Cranes qualified for three consecutive Nations Cup tournaments and played at the final in 1978.
But since had labored to re-acquit themselves with euphoria to return to the continental stage until a historical strike by Faruk Miya against Comoros in 2016 to end a 28 years period of fruitless qualification campaigns.
Although they didn’t make any stride past the group phase and scoring only one goal-against Mali,they still had the whiff to return to the stage 2 years later. Fortunately or unfortunately,they still have a ‘thing’ with the Pharaohs as they meet again for the third time within a space of 12 months along side their immediate neighbors to the West-DR Congo and Zimbabwe at the June-July AFCON tourney in group A.
From the face value of things,the Pharaohs look like the biggest opponents for the Cranes albeit the two sides will only meet in the final group game.
Egypt are the most successful country at the Nations Cup having stood at the podium on 7 counts(1957,1959,1986,1998,2006,2008,2010),last won it in 2010,went on a dry spell only returning at the 2017 finals that they lost to holders Cameroon.
Their road back to the AFCON was less-more similar to that of Uganda having swept through most games against Tunisia,Swaziland and Niger.
They meet for the 21st time,and unpleasantly,Uganda have only won twice,drawn thrice and lost 15 of their 20 meetings, the Pharaohs have won 3 of the most recent outings while playing at home.
And if history is anything to go by,Egypt will present the Cranes’ sternest test particularly highlighting their glory harnessed on domestic soil when they hosted the competition in 1959,1986 and 2006.
Egypt Fact profile.
Head Coach:Javier Aguirre
Key Player: Mohammad Salah-Liverpool
Highest FIFA ranking:9 (2010)
Lowest FIFA ranking:75 (2013)
Most Caps:Ahmed Hassan(84)
All time top scorer:Hossam Hassan(69)
Group A Fixtures:
21st June 2019 – Egypt V Zimbabwe
Uganda V DR Congo
26th June 2019 – Zimbabwe V Uganda
DR Congo V Egypt
30th June 2019 – Egypt V Uganda
Zimbabwe V DR Congo