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Pre CHAN Friendly: Uganda, Mali settle for barren stalemate

Uganda and Mali played out a goalless draw on Sunday as the two sides faced off in a friendly game played at Jabel Stadium, Monastir in Tunisia.

In a closely contested game, either side created chances but could not find the much needed breakthrough.

It should be noted that both Uganda and Mali used the game as part of preparations for African Nations Championship (CHAN) which starts this Friday in Algeria.

Coach Micho made several changes in the team that had started against Cameroon on Thursday.

Nafian Alionzi returned in goal and played the first 45 minutes before Jack Komakech also got a run out.

Ashiraf Mandela and Isa Mubiru started as right back and left back respectively with Gift Fred maintaining his slot at the heart of defence playing alongside Hillary Mukundane.

The midfield trio had Marvin Youngman, Najib Yiga and Titus Ssematimba while Travis Mutyaba, Moses Aliro and Nelson Ssenkatuka formed the front three.

Uganda started on a bright note with Ssematimba making several inroads into Mali’s back line.

The crafty forward had two good attempts at goal forcing saves from the Mali custodian.

Yiga got injured midway through the first half and was replaced by Kenneth Ssemakula.

In the second half, the coach made more changes bringing on James Begisa, Bright Anukani, Rogers Mato, Frank Ssebufu and Ibrahim Orit.

The best chance of the game fell to Mandela early in the second half when he made a good run on the right wing but his feeble shot could not go beyond the goalkeeper.

This was the third friendly match for Uganda in Tunisia having drawn 2-2 against Sudan before playing out a one all draw with Cameroon.

The coach is optimistic that the games have shaped his charges well and they are ready for the final tournament.

Uganda Cranes will leave Tunisia on Wednesday to connect to Annaba in Algeria where the team will be based for their group B games against Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Uganda Cranes Starting XI
Nafian Alionzi, Ashiraf Mandela, Isa Mubiru, Gift Fred, Hillary Mukundane, Marvin Youngman, Najib Yiga, Titus Ssematimba, Nelson Ssenkatuka, Travis Mutyaba, Moses Aliro

Jack Komakech, Joel Mutakubwa, James Begisa, Derrick Ndahiro, Kenneth Ssemakula, Geoffrey Wasswa, Siraje Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, Bright Anukani, Moses Waiswa, Frank Ssebufu, Ibrahim Orit, Rogers Mato, Milton Karisa