Yunus Sentamu has been on the fringes of the national team for some time but this weekend’s must-win encounter against Ghana offers him a rare opportunity to prove his worth, writes Elly Kyeyune.
In the wake of the 0-1 defeat to Togo at Namboole stadium last month, it was clear much of the home fans’ anger was geared towards Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevich and his decision to leave out on-form Sentamu.
Micho opted to deploy the tried and tested players at the expense of on-form forwards in Emmanuel Okwi and Brian Umony, something that came back to haunt him as Uganda lost its 10-year unbeaten record at home. Days before the Togo home loss, Sentamu had struck the winning goal for his DR Congo club AS Vita as they qualified for Caf Confederation Cup final.
Sentamu, along with Gor Mahia striker Daniel Sserunkuuma, were the most active of the Cranes strikers at Micho’s disposal. Yet both never got a kick in the game. Therefore, Micho can hardly risk leaving them out against Ghana regardless of the fact that the move could backfire.
But having experimented with several strikers with little success, it is perhaps time for Micho to give Sentamu a chance. Sentamu is not the fastest of strikers and neither is he the gest but he is a natural goal poacher and his movement on and off the ball creates havoc for defenders.
He scored a beauty at the weekend as Uganda defeated Ethiopia in a friendly. Barring a late fitness setback, Sentamu, who recently made the preliminary list for 2014 African Footballer of the Year, is all but guaranteed to start alongside Geoffrey Massa.
Okwi has gone under the radar of late and with Umony unsettled at KCC FC as he chases a professional stint, Sserunkuma could also find himself in the mix. But all eyes will surely be on Sentamu, who almost single-handedly carried the Cranes at the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) in South Africa, where he scored all Uganda’s three goals at the tournament.
Indeed, home fans have never fully watched him to assess his potential but Saturday offers the perfect opportunity.
Source : The Observer