The raucous cheer that went off at Namboole on Saturday following Cranes’ 1-0 win over Ghana was deafening to say the least. John Vianney Nsimbe evaluates the players’ performance on the day…
Two superb saves ensured that Cranes kept their lead intact and collected all the three points. His timing of crosses and decision- making on when to go for a quick break and when to slow down the game to kill Ghana’s rhythm was a mark of good game reading.
For a player who was played out of his customary centre-back position, he did well in keeping Andre Ayew at bay with his early tough tackling. Equally, he stopped left-back Rahman Baba from delivering crosses into the penalty area. But he offered little going forward.
Ghana used his side so often, something that exposed him and stopped him from giving Cranes the much-needed width particularly in the first half. Everton’s Christian Atsu dribbled past him a few times but generally his defending and passing were good.
In the first half, he was Cranes’ poor decision maker, being the first one to get booked. His tackles weren’t always timely. But generally, in the second half, he was more steadfast and combined well with Savio Kabugo to stop Ghana striker Majeed Waris.
His headed goal ensured that Cranes secured a much-needed win. On top of that, he was always imposing in aerial battles, many of which he won. Using his body, he was a manmountain to go past including the several blocks and tackles he won.
A man of the match performance. He covered every inch of grass, as he played doggedly box-to-box. He tackled, intercepted and defended before being the Cranes’ compass that guided Uganda forward and got his team-mates into play. A bundle of energy. Superb.
This young man has got heart. He played without fear and was also always available to clean up when Cranes were being attacked. He also offered himself in hold-up play to support the attackers. Without possession, he was always chasing a Ghanaian in possession.
Delivered the corner-kick from which Kabugo scored. Unlike his usual self, he also offered defensive support by pressing the ball when Cranes didn’t have it. However, the defence-splitting passes, as is expected from him, were missing this time and only shot twice on goal.
Had an indifferent first half. He lost the ball too easily and appeared to be rushing a lot most of the time. He didn’t create scoring chances, as is expected of him. But then in the second half, he came a little more into his element by committing Ghana’s defenders to fouling him. He also pulled off a few dribbles and was each time hearing Isinde’s call to support defensively.
He many not have tested the Ghana goalie, but troubled the Ghana centre-backs, John Boye and Jonathan Mensah with his hold-up play, physical presence that was coupled with several knock-downs and his running in the channels.
Had very few touches on the ball before he got injured. In fact he had only three in the 30 minutes he was on the field.
For the 60 minutes he played, he didn’t use his speed asset to keep the Ghana defence on their toes. But he held up the ball well and won a number of free-kicks for the team and also supported Majwega defensively.
Stopped the Ghanaians from dominating the midfield area, particularly at a time when Serumaga seemed tired and had to be substituted. Kizito’s presence relieved Mawejje of so much defensive duties and game management.
Came on in the dying seconds of the game.
Source : The Observer