Team Profile: Uganda

Nickname: The Cranes
Association formed: 1924
Previous Afcon Appearances: 5 (1962, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1978)
Best result: Runners-up (1978)
Coach: Micho Sredojevic
Leading scorers: all-time –
Most appearances: all-time –
FIFA ranking: 73rd (18th in CAF)

THE BIG QUESTION
They were unlucky to finish as runner-ups in 1978, but with a Serbian coach to lead them in this year’s edition, can they repeat that feat and be lucky this time around?

WHO ARE THEY?
The Uganda national football team represents Uganda in international association football and has done so since the early 1920s. Their best finish in the Africa Cup of Nations was second in 1978.

TOP THREE PLAYERS
Denis Onyango: Experienced goalkeeper who has recently seen his first team spot come under threat, but at almost 30 and over a decade in the national team, the shot-stopper should overcome whatever challenges posed by his rivals to stamp his authority and presence in between the sticks in Gabon.

Geofrey Massa: The South Africa-based forward features for Premier Soccer League side Baroka, and is a highly experienced player who has played non-stop for his national team since 2005. He will aim to add to his 17 international goals during the Afcon.

Farouk Miya: The striker recently moved to Europe, signing permanently with Belgian Jupiler League team Standard Liege, and that experience and exposure should come in handy for the Cranes. At age 21 and with 13 international goals in 24 appearances, he looks to be the future of the Ugandan national football team.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED
The Cranes left it to the last day, qualifying for the Nations Cup as one of two best second-placed teams. To be fair, they did finish level on points with Group D winners Burkina Faso, but were edged out of top spot on the head-to-head rule. Of particular importance to note, the Ugandans neither score nor concede too many. In six games enroute to Gabon, they scored six goals and conceded two.

FULL 23-MAN SQUAD AFCON

GOALKEEPERS: Salim Jamal (Al Merrikh, Sudan), Robert Odongkara (Saint George, Ethiopia), Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa)

DEFENDERS: Timothy Dennis Awany (KCCA, Uganda), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA), Shafiq Batambuze (Tusker, Kenya), Denis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), Isaac Isinde (Unattached), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Nicholas Wadada (Vipers, Uganda)

MIDFIELDERS: Khalid Aucho (Baroka FC, South Africa), Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids, USA), Geoffrey Kizito (Than Quang Ninh, Vietnam), William Luwagga Kizito (Rio Ave, Portugal), Tony Mawejje (FC Thotur, Iceland), Hassan Wasswa (Vipers SC, Uganda), Moses Oloya (Hanoi T and T, Vietnam), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya)

FORWARDS: Geoffrey Massa (Baroka FC, South Africa), Faruku Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium), Yunus Sentamu (Ilves, Finland), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (KCCA, Uganda), Muhammed Shaban (Onduparaka, Uganda)

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