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Friday, 24 June 2016
Uganda Cranes in tough World Cup group, draw Egypt, Ghana and Congo
DRAW: Africa Zone, Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers
Group A: Libya, Guinea, DR Congo, Tunisia
Group B: Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria
Group C: Gabon, Morocco, Mali, Ivory Coast
Group D: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Cape Verde, Senegal
Group E: Uganda, Congo, Egypt, Ghana
Uganda has been put in the same group with Ghana and Egypt in Friday's draw for the World Africa qualifiers. Ghana and Egypt have been to the World Cup finals before. Cranes coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic sounded unfazed after watching the draw from his Kampala base. He said his eyes are firmly on Africa Cup of Nations qualification first, after which the World Cup will come into focus. Uganda plays their last AFCON match in September against Comoros. Victory will see Uganda Cranes qualify for the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 1978. The World Cup qualifiers are due to start a month later. " We are focusing first on AFCON qualifiers believing that we can qualify for the first time in 39 years. Once we finish that we shall fly on the wings of confidence go to play World cup qualifiers where we need to meet top class teams with no pressure on us," Micho said.
"Against these giants, the mental part is most important. We need to break jinx of Egypt. Technically we shall be up to standard but question is can the whole country stand behind us with just 10 percent of a budget compared to others we are competing against?"
"Ugandans need to know that others in Africa look at us like Bodaboda stranded in race of Formula1. I don't agree with them as we can play against any team only worry I have can that Bodaboda have some fuel of support?"
The toughest group has Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria battling for one World Cup place. Only group winners qualify for Russia 2018.
Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria are seeking third consecutive World Cup appearances. Group qualifying starts this October, continues in November and there will be four rounds between August and November 2017. The Group winners qualify for the Russia World Cup finals. MATCH DAYS 1: Oct 3-11 2016 Ghana vs Uganda 2: Nov 7-15 2016 3/4: Aug 28-Sept 5 2017 5: Oct 2-10 2017