This is an odd situation of the once-hunted turning into the hunter. Following the national Under-17ís 0-2 loss in Zambia a week ago, Fufa has complained to continental body Caf over Zambia’s use of ineligible overage players, writes John Vianney Nsimbe.
It is now official. Fufa has petitioned Caf about Zambia’s Under-17 side that allegedly used some over-age players in the game against Uganda’s Under-17s (The Cubs).
In 2010, Caf disqualified Uganda’s then Under-17 side after it was discovered that in a 3-1 aggregate win over Zambia in the qualifiers, Uganda fielded an overage player, Ivan Ntege. Against that, Fufa will probably be hoping that they get one over Zambia too. Ahmed Hussein, the Fufa spokesperson, confirmed the development and should Caf find the Zambians guilty, they would be automatically expelled.
That would also mean Uganda automatically qualifies for the 2015 Africa Youth Championships due in Niger. Regardless of the petition’s outcome, the Cubs remain focussed on training in the hope to improve their scoring. The Cubs had scored twelve times in four games and conceded only three goals in earlier rounds.
Matia Lule, The Cubs coach, told The Observer that he is convinced they can score three goals in the return leg scheduled for this Saturday at Namboole stadium. Lule also revealed that his team’s early struggles against Zambia were psychological.
“When they saw the Zambians seemingly older, they developed some fear. But they eventually overcame it, and it won’t be a problem in the second leg” Lule said.
And Lule, like he said, has the overall team display in that game, to have confidence in his charges. “By the way, we had a really good game. We created 13 goal-scoring chances and we were just unlucky not to score at least once. In fact, their goalkeeper was their best player because of the numerous saves he pulled off.”
So, Lule hopes the goalkeeper isn’t in the same inspired form like he was in the first leg. But better still, that his players will have improved their sharpness in front of goal. That said, Lule pointed out that his team has reached a critical point in the qualifiers, where concentration is vital and focus on detail, paramount, to ensure that there is no room for error.
“Our objective is to qualify but we can’t realize that unless we work very hard in training to perfect our game plan and execute the tactics perfectly in the match,” Lule reasoned.
Notably, a two-goal deficit doesn’t sound insurmountable. Yet, also, it wonít be easy to level the clash on aggregate without leaving themselves susceptible at the back due to counter-attacks.