Uganda will have to dig deep today if they harbor any hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages. Their return to the AFCON after a 39-year space didn’t end well as the Black Stars dimmed them 1-0, a result that means they have to get points on the board in their game against.
The Cranes have been Africa’s most improved side in the last 18 months and will look to continue the forward trail by securing their first AFCON points since 1978.
It will not be an easy task for Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s men as Egypt will be tough customers for the East Africans.
Uganda was not overawed by the chance against Ghana and was debatably the better side in the first half but have to improve against the Pharaohs.
Anything short of points on the board or a loss means an early departure for the Cranes from the competition. Denis Onyango will be the man between the sticks and he will hope his defence will be on top of their game against a rampaging Egyptian side.
Hector Cuper has brought Egypt back to Africa’s premier event after a ten-year absence and will be looking to add to their title of seven AFCON wins.
The Pharaohs have put away the disappointment of the draw against Mali and will hope to do better against Uganda. Mohammed Salah will be the main man in attack for Egypt as they go for Uganda’s jugular.
Egypt could not break a physical Mali defense on Match Day One even with all their labors. Cuper expects his team to rally back from the disappointment and get the job done against the East Africans on Saturday.
Mohammed Elneny, Ramadan Sobhi. Ahmed ‘Koka’ Hassan and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan are expected to lead the charge against Uganda.
The second group games of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations will come to a peak on Saturday when Group D takes center-stage.
Ghana, who have three points lead the group ahead of Egypt and Mali who drew blanks on Match Day One. The Black Stars will face recharged Mali side who defied the odds to hold the much fancied Pharaohs.
The Black Stars have won the competition four times, the last time in 1982 when they won in Libya. They want to end the wait and conceal the ghosts of the 2015 edition when they lost to Ivory Coast in the final in Equatorial Guinea.
Avram Grant knows a win will guarantee passage into the next round for his men and has already sounded that out about his team’s ambition.
Ghana and Mali have met seven times in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars hold the edge in that regard with three wins as against Mali’s two with two drawn games.
Mali has been dependable in the Africa Cup of Nations over the last five editions with a third place finish in 2013 their best showing of late.
Now coached by Alan Giresse, the Eagles held Egypt to a goalless draw in the first group game and were quite impressive despite the absence of central midfielder Adama Traore.