With the anxiety of waiting to know whether you have made the 23-man cut gone, burden now shifts to shouldering expectations as Uganda make a final push to Egypt next week.
Coach Sebastien Desabre’s men now have to fine-tune for a high-stakes friendly against Wilfried Zaha’s-inspired Ivory Coast this Saturday, with the Frenchman challenging his boys to show what Uganda is made of.
“Against Turkmenistan (0-0),” Desabre told Daily Monitor, “We created some chances but we need to do more.
“The game helped me analyse players mentally and technically. Now it’s another step because I give the final list (squad) that will play the last friendly against Ivory Coast.
“After that we go to Egypt and fight in three games with our target to get out of the group stage.”
But all that and the expectations back home do not have to drain the life out of the players, Desabre says.
“I have asked my boys to have confidence,” added the former Egyptian side Ismaily coach.
“To have confidence in defending and going forward because we have to enjoy games, not just to go there and play. “The boys need to enjoy some amazing moments on the pitch, to do something to provoke the luck because we have the quality.”
Uganda will, two days after the friendly against Ivory Coast, arrive in Cairo gunning to win their first Afcon finals match, and progressing from the group for the first time since 1978. The Cranes are pooled in one of the toughest groups, which includes hosts and seven-time champions Egypt, two-time winners DRC and surprise package Zimbabwe.
2019 TOTAL AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS
Cranes Afcon fixtures
June 22: Uganda vs. DR Congo,
June 26: Uganda vs. Zimbabwe,
June 30: Egypt vs. Uganda,
UAE camp (May 27-June 17)
June 25: Cranes vs. Ivory Coast
Denis Onyango (18), Jamal Salim
Magoola (19), Robert Odongkara
(1), Murushid Jjuuko (4), Bevis
Mugabi (5), Isaac Muleme (20),
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (16),
Wakiro Nico Wadada (14), Joseph
Benson Ochaya (2), Timothy Denis
Awany (3), Godfrey Walusimbi (15),
Ronald Mukiibi (12), William Kizito
Luwagga (10), Khalid Aucho (8),
Mike Azira (23), Faruku Miya (17),
Tadeo Lwanga (6), Allan Kateregga
(13), Lumala Abdu (22),
Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (7), Patrick
Henry Kaddu (9), Derrick Nsibambi
(11) and Allan Kyambadde (21)
***in bracket are shirt numbers***
Dropped: Sadam Juma, Alexis
Bakka, Kriszestom Ntambi