Uganda Cranes Handed Injury Blow Ahead of Mali Friendly

Friday, October 13
*Mali Vs Uganda – 10pm

The Uganda Cranes are facing a setback ahead of their International Friendly game against Mali this Friday.

Goalkeeper Ismail Watenga suffered an injury during training, forcing him to miss the match at the Stade Du Mars in Bamako.

This absence of Watenga is a significant blow to the Cranes, leaving the team with only two goalkeepers, namely Joel Mutakubwa from BUL and the young talent Jack Komakech from Vipers.

The availability of Watenga for the upcoming international friendly against Zambia, scheduled for next Tuesday in Dubai, remains uncertain.

Watenga had been in excellent form at the club level, boasting three clean sheets in just nine games with Lamontville Golden Arrows in South Africa.

Coach Byekwaso initially summoned six goalkeepers, but the final traveling squad omitted Nafian Alionzi Legason from Ethiopia Defence Forces FC, Charles Lukwago from Hawassa City FC in Ethiopia, and Derrick Ochan from KCCA FC.

These international matches hold great importance as they serve as preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, commencing next month in November.

Uganda finds itself in Group G, alongside strong competitors Algeria, Guinea, Mozambique, Botswana, and Somalia.

The Cranes are using these international fixtures as a crucial platform to fine-tune their strategies, build team cohesion, and gain essential experience before embarking on the challenging journey of World Cup qualification.



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