Sport

Uganda Coach Counting on “Lucky Charm” to Shock Zambia Out of AfCON Race

After going 1-0 down to champions Zambia in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the first leg, Ugandan are fancying their chances of a maiden continental appearance in over 30 years.

The Cranes, as Uganda is fondly referred to, host Zambia on October 13 and must score two unanswered goals to progress to the tournament set for South Africa.

They have not lost a single game at their home ground – Namboole Stadium in Kampala – since 2005 which is now a subject of a CAF protest by Zambia due to poor state of the pitch.

And the last time Herve Renard took a team their, then as Angola trainer, they butchered him 3-1.

For some reason, they are very confident this is their moment to qualify to the 16 nations tournament and their only casualty will have to be a tough-tested Zambian side.

Cranes coach Bobby Williamson says hard work coupled with “some lucky charm” will guide them passed Zambia.

“Not many teams win away from home especially in Africa,” he told the Uganda Monitor, “How many teams won away from home (at the qualifying weekend)?

“Not one team won away from home. What does that tell you? It tells me a lot. It tells me that referees kind of favour home teams slightly in their decisions. And we are hoping that will be the case when Zambia comes to Kampala.”

Uganda last lost a game at Namboole in 2005, ironically a 1-0 defeat to South Africa – hosts of the next Nations Cup. Since then, they have recorded some good results against giant sides including Nigeria, although some visiting sides have left Namboole cursing referees.

The Cranes, whose 23-man provisional squad has converged for training at Namboole will not only want to keep the unbeaten record intact but they must score goals against a resolute Herve Renard side that will be good to goal with either a scoreless or scoring draw.

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