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‘Cranes lucky qualification chances not hurt by South Sudan slip up’ – McKinstry

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Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry insists that the Cranes should consider themselves lucky that their chances of qualifying were not hugely affected after their loss to South Sudan.

Uganda born striker Tito Okello converted from the penalty in the 35th minute to secure a 1-0 victory for South Sudan and hand McKinstry his first defeat since he took charge of the team last year.

Uganda missed the chance of sealing qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament as they lost their first defeat in the qualifiers at the Nyayo National Stadium in Kenya.

McKinstry described the Cranes performance on Monday as ‘not good enough’, but asserted that they should bounce back in their next two qualifiers and get the points needed to go through.

“We have to consider ourselves hugely lucky because we know the result in the other game and so I think someone up in the sky is looking down on us,” McKinstry said after the game.

“We are still there in the conversation (for qualification) but we now have two huge games.”

“There has been someone big games for Uganda over the last few years in terms of qualification but now we are very fortunate with the result in the other game that we were not punished,” he added.

“We could have been on life support if the other result had gone against us and thankfully, we still have a beating heart and I know these guys are going to fight back.”

“In football you lose games sometimes but we have to take the lessons, we have to prepare and make sure that myself and the coaching staff find the right combinations so we go out and win games that we need to win.” McKinstry explained.

Despite the setback, Malawi’s goalless draw against Burkina Faso means that the Cranes remain four points away from qualification, and could seal qualification if they win against Burkina Faso and Malawi draw against South Sudan.

Uganda host Burkina Faso in their next qualifier in March 2021 before they travel to Malawi foe their final qualifier.

Burkina Faso meanwhile needs only three points from their remaining two games, while Malawi and South Sudan who are third and fourth need maximum points and hope that Uganda and Burkina Faso drop points.  

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