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AFCON 2019: Facts about the Cranes of Uganda

The Cranes of Uganda is one of the teams that has booked its place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Egypt.

Cranes of Uganda

Uganda qualified from group L which has the likes of Lesotho, Tanzania and Cape Verde.

The East African country love football- The Uganda Football Association was formed in 1924, but it became affiliated to CAF and FIFA in 1960 and 1963, respectively.

These are some of the memorable facts and history about the Cranes of Uganda

World Cup participation

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The Cranes of Uganda have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup: Their participation in FIFA World Cup qualification date back to 1978. After they had placed second in the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Ghana, there was the growing belief that qualifying for the Mundial in their first attempt was possible, but they slipped in the course of the campaign.

Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) participation

 This year would be the 7th appearance of the Cranes of Uganda in the Africa Cup of Nations: Their maiden participation was in 1962, which they placed fourth. They would also appear in the competition in 1968, 1974, 1976, 1978 and 2017.

Enviable AFCON feat

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Uganda are one of the 20 nations to have played in the grand finale of the Africa Cup of Nations: They reached the final of the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Ghana.

They defied all odds to knock out Morocco in their quarter-finals in Kumasi. The Moroccans who got disappointed vandalized the Kumasi City hotel, which would later be rechristened Golden Tulip, where they were residing.

Before, they saw off the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a 2-1 victory.

Philip Omondi, the marksman of the team was in the thick of events as they achieved a fairytale.

However, they fell in the final of the competition against highly motivated Black Stars team, who had travelled twice to Brazil for training tour in their quest to win the trophy for keeps.

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The feat chalked by Uganda in 1978 is their best in the history of the beautiful game.

Most successful team in the history of the CECAFA Cup

 Uganda are the most successful nation in the history of the Council for East and Central Africa Football (CECAFA) Cup which is the oldest football competition in Africa.

They have a total of 14 titles. Kenya, who are their closest opponent, have seven.

Best win and worst defeat

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Uganda’s best win came against their East African neighbours Kenya: They defeated them 13-1 in 1932, while their worst defeats were 6-0 losses against two North African powerhouses Egypt in 1995 and Tunisia in 1999.

FIFA ranking

They are currently ranked 77th on the FIFA ranking, but their best in the ratings by the world football governing body was 62nd in January, 2016.

 Most capped and all-time top scorer

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Godfrey Walusimbi is the most capped player, while Geoffrey Massa is the all-time top scorer of Uganda, with 98 caps and 22 goals respectively.

Coach

French man Sébastien Desabre is the coach of The Cranes. he has been in charge since 28 December 2017. He replaced Milutin Sredojevic (‘Micho’), from Serbia, who left in July 2017 to become coach of the Orlando Pirates Football Club in South Africa.

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