Uganda Cranes captain and first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango has said the team has the quality to get to the later stages of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Onyango, one of the experienced players on the Ugandan team said their target is to make it out of the group stage into the knock out round.
Uganda will battle against hosts Egypt, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Group A of the tournament which kicks off on Friday in Cairo. The tournament which brings together 24 teams for the first time will run June 21st to July 19th 2019.
Onyango said although the team does not have star players like Mohammad Salah for Egypt, they will play as a unit to be able to get the get the results.
“We shall need to work as a complete team. To get as far as we can, we need to get the best use of the team quality. We have camped for a long time in Abu Dhabi and virtually all the players know each other well. Against DR Congo, we need that first victory because it always pushes us further,” he added.
In the international friendly games played in the United Arab Emirates the Cranes drew goalless with lowly ranked Asian side Turkmenistan before stopping 2015 Afcon champions Ivory Coast 1-0.
Head coach Sebastien Desabre also made it clear that his team is ready to compete at the 2019 AFCON finals. “We have good organisation, cohesion and quality in the team basing on values of working together,” he added.
Uganda is placed in Group A alongside hosts Egypt, Zimbabwe and DRC.
Cranes who will be making their second appearance in the Nations Cup after 37 years of waiting will need to be at their best if they are to progress to the knockout round.
Group A: Uganda, Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo
Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
Group D: Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia, Morocco
Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea Bissau