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Uganda Cranes striker Emmanuel Arnold Okwi

Okwi chases successive AFCON appearance

By Martin Kaddu

AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Uganda vs Burkina Faso on Wednesday – March 24 – 2021 in Kitende, 4 PM

Having been at the previous edition, Emmanuel Okwi knows how sweet it is to play at the Africa cup of nations finals. At the same time, the striker knows what it takes to seal qualification, having part of the process.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference at Kitende on Tuesday, the Ittihad Alexandria FC forward expressed hunger for Cranes to return to the AFCON finals. He said that the Cranes seek maximum points from the visiting Burkina Faso whom they held in a goalless draw in Ouagadougou in the first leg as the two sides meet in the return leg this Wednesday at the St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende.

“We know how important this fixture is. We just hope that all our plans work out. I am lucky that I have been part of the previous two campaigns but the spirit is always the same. We want to go back to Afcon, we shall work hard and fight for our flag to see that we return to the finals for the third straight time. I want to be part of history personally,” noted the former SC Villa striker.

Miya scored the only goal against Comoros that sealed Cranes’ qualification to the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon while Patrick Kaddu’s header against Cape Verde sent Uganda to the 2019 edition where the side was eliminated at the last 16. The Cranes sit second on table with 7 points, one below Burkina Faso ahead of the last two games.

The Abdullah Mubiru side will fly out to play Malawi after the Wednesday task and FUFA has confirmed that the Cranes will fly to Malawi by chartered flight for this final Total AFCON qualifier to be played on 29th March 2021. Uganda Airlines will fly the team on one of its bombardiers on March 28th as confirmed by FUFA Communications Director, Ahmed Hussein.

“It is important for the National Team to travel with a lot of comfort during the current COVID-19 times when you need the entire team to move together for better preparations,” he said.

It will be the second time in this campaign that FUFA has paid for a chartered flight to transport Uganda Cranes. The opening fixture against Burkina Faso saw Cranes use Uganda Airlines as they picked a valuable point off the West African Giants in Ouagadougou.

Cranes squad:

Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal, Sudan), Charles Lukwago(KCCA FC-Uganda), and Kigonya Mathias ( Azam FC- Tanzania).

Defenders: Kizza Mustapha (DC Montreal- USA), Ronald Mukiibi(Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi, Ashdod, Israel), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC-Uganda), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Juuko Murushid (Express FC-Uganda), and Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa- Uganda).

Midfielders: Miya Faruku (Konyaspor- Turkey), William Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Waiswa Moses (SupersportUnited-South Africa), Lwanga Taddeo (Simba SC- Tanzania), Michael Azira (New Mexico United-, USA), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Allan Okello (Paradou,Algeria), Lumala Abdu (Pyramids FC- Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), and Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC-Uganda).

Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), KadduPatrick (Youssoufia Berrechid-Tunisia), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers SC-Uganda), and Isiagi Daniel (Jomo Cosmos-South Africa).

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