The Cranes struggled to get past the Bright Stars as they went on to get a slim win on an artificial pitch at St Mary’s Stadium
Uganda captain Denis Onyango believes natural grass at Nyayo Stadium will help them when they take on South Sudan in an African Cup of Nations qualifier on Monday.
Uganda picked up a 1-0 win over South Sudan on the artificial turf at St Mary’s Stadium on Thursday and the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper believes they would not struggle in Nairobi as they did at home given the nature of the pitch.
“Hopefully, things become easier for us when we play them on normal grass and we also hope the game will be a bit more open because they also want to win,” Onyango said as was quoted by Football256.
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“It was a difficult game played on an artificial turf which most of the players are not used to but those who are familiar with it came on and helped us,” the skipper had said in a separate interview.
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South Sudan will host the Cecafa record champions away from home given the security concerns in Juba and the 35-year-old believes they stand a better chance of getting a win since no team will enjoy direct home advantage.
“Definitely both teams will be playing like they are away. There will not be any supporters for them as well, so for us, it’s all about executing our game plan well,” he added.
Uganda struggled against the Bright Stars and got an opener four minutes before the game ended and Onyango remains cautious ahead of the reverse fixture.
“We need to be very conscious and try to wrap up qualification in Kenya on Monday,” he concluded. “Because we have ever done it before and I hope we can do the same because we know the challenge that is lying ahead of us.
“As you saw South Sudan are an improved side, all we need to do is to care about ourselves, put up a much better performance on Monday and highlight our chances of sealing qualification.”
Head coach Johnathan McKinstry had to make some changes in the squad that travelled to Nairobi for the Monday showdown.
He had to pick SC Villa’s David Owori in order to fill the place of TP Mazembe’s Joseph Ochaya, who remains suspended.
Vipers SC’s Halid Lwaliwa could also start ahead of Khalid Aucho, who sustained a knock in the reverse fixture as Ronald Mukiibi remains a doubt.