Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic draws positives from Ghana loss at Africa Cup of Nations
Posted: 18 January 2017 Time: 13:34
Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic felt his team exhibited determination as well as naivety on their African Nations Cup return after a 39-year absence against Ghana.
Sredojevic believes the team, which is captained by ex-Baroka striker Geofrey Massa and includes Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango, suffered from stage fright in the first half of their opening Group D match in Port Gentil on Tuesday, but believed they could still advance against expectation.
Ghana won with a first half penalty after defender Isaac Isinde lost possession in his own penalty box and tugged back on the shoulder of Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan, who had stripped him of the ball.
“We paid for one mistake which is hard to explain,” said the Serbian-born coach. “We saw there the experience of a great player like Asamoah Gyan. This level of competition does not permit silly mistakes.”
But the former Orlando Pirates coach hailed his players' second half exertions when Uganda threw caution to the wind and attacked their much vaunted opponents.
“We showed we are fit, we just lack a bit at the technical and tactical level. We came here to show that we did not qualify by accident and no matter that we now have to face Egypt and Mai, we will give 200 percent to advance,” he promised.
Uganda’s last appearance in the 1978 finals saw them lose to Ghana in the final.
Their next Group D game is in Port Gentil on Saturday against Egypt.