Uganda Cranes drew 0-0 with the Harambee Stars in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Thursday.
The Uganda cranes team lacked creativity from the midfield and was so blunt going forward, it was so hard to expect a goal because there seemed no path for it to come.
The Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will perhaps be relieved at least he did not lose or concede, but it is not a result good enough given what the target in the group is.
With Charles Lukwago the surprise start in goal for Uganda ahead of Ismail Watenga, Micho also employed Khalid Aucho and Bobosi Byaruhanga to protect the back four of Isaac Muleme, Murushid Juuko, Denis Iguma and Halid Lwaliwa
Moses Waiswa was the only creative spark in the team mean to create chances for skipper Emmanuel Okwi and Milton Kariisa, but little came out of that creativity.
Uganda needed to win the game and keep up with table leaders Mali who are comfortably sitting top of the summit with three points having beaten Rwanda 1-0 at Stade d’Agadir in Morocco on Wednesday.
Two forced early changes from injury concerns in the first half left Micho scratching his head, probably depressed as a result of limited options.
Vipers’ Lwaliwa sustained an injury in the eleventh minute and he was replaced by Express FC captain Enoch Walusimbi.
Captain Okwi limped off with an injury to be replaced by Derrick Nsibambi at the restart of the second half. Khalid Aucho who had been booked minutes before took up the armband.
There were no real goal scoring chances for visitors like it was for the hosts. Uganda’s only threatening chance came when Kariisa was brought down for what initially looked like a penalty which was later recalled for a free kick.
Mulitin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic was left fuming after Sudan referee Ismail Mahmood Ali Mahmood overturned a decision that had seen him away Cranes a first half penalty against Kenya.
Milton Karisa went down under a challenge from John Okumu with Mahmood pointing to the spot but on advice of his assistant, he reversed the decision and gave the Cranes a free kick on the edge which was put to waste by Joseph Ochaya.
“I believe we shall see what exactly happened and why the referee changed his mind,” Micho said in a post-match briefing.
Like the first half, the second half was not any more thrilling, as Micho threw on a couple of new faces on the field, but did not pay off – at least in terms of scoring.
Yunus Ssentamu came on for Kariisa as Mustapha Kizza and Ibrahim Orit had earlier come on for Waiswa and Ochaya respectively.
Line up for both teams
Kenya: Ian Otieno (GK), Daniel Sakari, Eric Ouma, Eugene Asike, Joseph Okumu, Kenneth Muguna, Richard Odada, Masud Juma, Lawrence Juma, Abdala Hassan, Michael Olunga.
Uganda: Charles Lukwago (GK), Denis Iguma, Isaac Muleme, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Moses Waiswa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Emmanuel Okwi, Milton Karisa, Joseph Ochaya.
GROUP E: Current Table standings
Mali – 3 PTS
Uganda – 1 PT
Kenya – 1 PT
Rwanda 0 PT