By Maureen Nakigozi
Uganda will play against Zambia in the final round of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers according to the CAF draw.
Zambia has been chosen to host the first match and Uganda Cranes will play its first match in Zambia in September while in a return match Uganda Cranes will host Zambia in October.
According to FUFA president Lawrence Mulinda, Zambia is a better opponent because Uganda Cranes has ever played against it in 2010 in Namboole. The match ended with a 1-1 draw.
Mulindwa says Uganda Cranes has also played various friendly games with Zambia making it a better team to play against. He said now Uganda stands a good chance to play in the African Cup of nations tournament which would not have been the case if it was to play against Cameroon, Nigeria or Ivory Coast.
Cranes coach Bobby Williamson has also welcomed Zambia though they are the African defending champions .
Bobby says though Zambia is a champion team, but this is a great opportunity for the Cranes to show their talent.
“For the Cranes, however, this is a challenge we will relish. In my opinion this is a great opportunity.
But for us to qualify this year, we need to beat the best team on this continent. Uganda is capable of ending the long wait and this will require a collective effort so that we pull in one direction.
It’s important that we are playing our first leg away in Lusaka. I believe this is to our advantage no matter what happens from the first leg. What we need to keep in perspective is that this ‘race’ won’t be won or lost in Lusaka,” Bobby said.
In the first round of the qualifiers, Uganda Cranes played against Congo Brazzaville in Congo and they were beaten 3-1 but Uganda cranes managed to beat Congo in Namboole 4-0 in the returning match.
If the Cranes beat Zambia this time, they will head to AFCON for the first time since 1978 .