The Uganda Cranes coach Johnathan Mckinstry has said he regrets his side’s minimal performance against neighbours Rwanda in their first game of the 2020(pp2021) African Nations Championship (CHAN) that took place at the the Stade de la Reunification in Douala on Monday January 18, 2021.
“I congratulate the Rwanda team, they were tough opponents. We have a youngster, we have the means to raise the level of play.
There was no lack of ambition and offensive animation.
We are satisfied with the result but we come out of this match with regrets. It is up to us to question ourselves and above all to be conquerors,” Mr Mckinstry told CAF media after the game.
The Cranes and Amavubi Stars drew 0-0 in a game in which Rwanda’s rich in experience especially at upfront always manifested at all times.
Playmaker Muhadjiri Hakizimana and Captain Jacques Tuyisengeh always threatened the Ugandan defense with the former seeing his shot kissing the crossbar on the half hour mark when he dribbled past two defenders and beat goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who was miles away from his line.
Captain Jacques Tuyisengeh also headed just wide in the 40th minute after an inviting cross from the right beat Uganda goalkeeper.
“The first half of the game was really frustrating especially for players and staff. We let ourselves down in the first half. However we moved the ball alot better in the second half and created chances through the buildup play and moving the ball effectively. Most of the players in this team are featuring at CHAN for the first time and may be pressure caught up with them at this stage. There was a case for the team needing more confidence,” the Cranes coach said in an interview with Fufa Media.
However, Mr Mckinstry is optimistic his boys will be an improved team when they face Togo on January 22.
“It is just a case of removing the fear from the players. We know we can move the ball effectively with that passing moving brand of football that will bring us success. We did not do that today. We have a big game in three days against Togo. The players know that it will be big for our next opponents because Togo lost [1-0] to Morocco. Our doctors will also assess the fitness of Karisa who suffered an injury early in the game,” he said.
Despite looking comfortable in possessing and passing the ball in the central area, the Cranes had very few un cut clear chances to write home about.
Youngster Aziz Abdu Kayondo squandered what looked like Uganda’s only clear chance on the hour mark after goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera made a hash of an aerial ball but the midfielder could not take advantage.
Earlier, however, the Cranes had been dealt a big blow when forward Milton Karisa was stretched off injured just 11 minutes into the game.
Brian Ahhebwa who replaced him looked impressive in his first minutes on the pitch but gradually went silent due to minimal supply of balls from his midfield.
The two regional rivals return to action on January 22 as Rwanda face holders and group C leaders Morocco on Friday while Uganda take on debutantes Togo in the group’s other game of the day.
Uganda Cranes: Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Mujuzi (Capt), Patrick Mbowa, Aziizi Kayondo, Shafik Kagimu, Joackiam Ojera, Bright Anukani, Viane Ssekajugo, Karim Watambala, Milton Karisa
Rwanda Amavubi Stars: Olivier Kwizera (GK), Fitina Omborenga, Ange Mutsinzi, Thierry Manzi, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Olivier Niyonzima, Rashid Kalisa, Bertrand Iradukunda, Jacques Tuyisenge (Capt), Muhadjiri Hakizimana, Dominique Savio Nshuti