Uganda was pitted in group C with defending Champions Morocco, Neighbors Rwanda and Togo for the 2020 CHAN tournament in Cameroon.
The Cranes, who will be taking part in their Fifth consecutive CHAN tournament after featuring in 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2018 editions, will face Rwanda in their first game on January 18th at the Stade de Unification in Douala, before taking on Togo on January 22 at the same venue.
The final group game will be on January 26th against Morocco
With a few days to the tournament scheduled to kick off on Saturday, 16th January, here is some useful information we thought that you might need to know about Uganda’s Group C opponents.
The Atlas Lions, as they are nicknamed are the defending champions of the Africa Nations Championship, having defeated Nigeria in the finals of the 2018 tournament to win their first title.
This will be Morocco’s fourth CHAN tournament appearance with their first appearance having been in 2014 in South Africa.
The Houcine Ammouta coached side’s last meeting with Uganda Cranes happened in the 2014 edition, a game that the Atlas lions won 3-1. Abdessamad Rafik, Lajour Mouhssine and Abdelkbir El Quadi scored for Morocco, while Yunus Ssentamu got Uganda’s consolation.
Morocco, who won the competition in 2018, qualified for CHAN 2020 after beating Algeria (3-0) on home ground in the qualifiers.
Star man: Ayoub El Kaabi
El Kaabi made his international debut for Morocco in the 2018 Africa Nations Championship group stage match against Mauritania, scoring twice. He went on to finish the tournament as the top scorer with 9 goals and swooped the best player award. El Kaabi also made the 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In just two years with the national team, El Kaabi had received 13 caps and scored 11 goals
This will be the fourth Africa Nations Championship appearance for Uganda’s neighbours, Rwanda with their best performance coming in 2016 when they hosted the tournament. They were defeated by the eventual champions DRC Congo 2-1 after extra time in quarterfinals.
They are currently coached by Vincent Mashami who will hope to get the better of his former boss Johnny McKinstry, having worked with the Irish international in the 2016 CHAN competition.
The last time the Amavubi Stars and the Cranes met, it was the Cranes that emerged victorious, defeating Rwanda 3-2 on aggregate in the third round to qualify for the 2018 finals in Morocco.
Rwanda qualified for the finals after defeating Ethiopia 2-1 on aggregate in the final qualifiers.
Star man: Jacques Tuyisenge
Since 2007, Tuyisenge has featured for national teams of different age brackets and, today, he is elegantly serving the country in the senior team Amavubi as the assistant captain.
Between 2007 and 2008, he featured in the Amavubi U-17 starlets, from 2009 until 2011, he played in the Junior U-20 team. He made his senior international debut in late 2010.
The 2011 African Nations Championship (CHAN) was Tuyisenge’s first major international competition. Rwanda bowed out of the tournament from the group stage in Sudan.
Five years later, he was the skipper of a predominantly youth Amavubi side that reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 CHAN finals tournament held in Rwanda.
After a decade with the senior national team, Tuyisenge has received 41 caps and scored 14 goals.
The Sparrowhawks will be making their debut in this year’s Africa Nations championship.
The West African side eliminated 2014 champions Nigeria in the final qualification round to book their place in this year’s tournament after defeating the super eagles 4-3 on aggregate.
Star Man: Richard Nane
The 25-year midfielder was on target twice as Togo shockingly eliminated the 2014 champions Nigeria to book their ticket in this year’s tournament.
Despite his impressive performance against Benin in the build-up match, the Sparrowhawks narrowly bowed out 1-0.