Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic believes his side can still make it to the Chan 2016 quarterfinals despite losing to Zambia 1-0 on Saturday at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu.
The Cranes sit in third position on the Group D standings with a point from their 2-2 draw in their opener against Mali and face a stubborn Zimbabwe side in their last group stage encounter on January 27. “We need to regroup and our qualification is in the domain of theory. We want to look to get the win in order to get the chance to qualify for the quarterfinals,” said the optimistic Micho.
“There is a last chance existing, we shall not give up. We have to respect ourselves and to do all the best until the last moment of the last game against Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe have already been eliminated from the tournament but head coach Callisto Pasuwa told supersport.com that he will be out to play for pride against the Cranes.
Uganda have to defeat Zimbabwe by two goals and hope that Zambia beats Mali for them to qualify to the last eight. Any draw for Mali will see them qualify to the quarterfinals as second best side.
Hosts Rwanda and DR Congo are the only teams that have already booked their place in the last eight of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Micho admitted that the absence of his captain Farouk Miya and first choice goalkeeper Ismail Watenga has taken a toll on his side tactically and emotionally.
Uganda has competed at Chan three times but is yet to make it past the group stages. At the 2014 edition in South Africa, the Cranes defeated Burkina Faso 2-1 before settling for a goalless draw with Zimbabwe. They lost to Morocco 3-1 in their last group match and eliminated ultimately.
At their debut in 2011 in Sudan, Uganda lost all their three group matches including the opener, a 2-0 loss to Algeria before Sudan defeated them 1-0 and the 2-1 loss to Gabon sent them packing from the biennial tournament.-Supersport