Magogo urges Uganda to create culture of qualification

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Uganda Football Association President Moses Magogo has urged the Cranes to create a culture of consistent qualification for major tournaments ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania this weekend.

The East Africans ended their 39-year wait to reach the AFCON when Micho Sredojevic secured their ticket for the 2017 event in Gabon, and the FUFA chief is desperate for the team to build on this success.

"Uganda need to get into the culture of qualifying for the AFCON all the time," he told KweséESPN. "The team must work hard to beat Tanzania and increase their lead in Group L to brighten their chances of qualification.

"The game against Tanzania is a must-win for us," he added. "It's a cup final for us, and the players know they must win. They now have the appetite of returning to the AFCON."

Uganda host Tanzania on Sunday after winning their opening qualifier 1-0 away against Cape Verde, putting them in pole position in Group L.

The Taifa Stars, by contrast, were held 1-1 at home by lowly Lesotho, but have since changed their technical team and appointed Nigeria great Emmanuel Amunike as head coach.

"Because of the qualification for 2017 AFCON our ranking improved and this has helped us in ranking for the 2019 AFCON, where we were placed in Pot 2," continued Magogo.

"The reality is that qualifying for the 2017 AFCON gave us a better placing today in Africa.

"We believe that the core of the team is there," he concluded, "and we hope that we can qualify early and give the young players chance to play the remaining matches."

Striker Emmanuek Okwi is also keen to taste an AFCON after missing out on being part of the squad that fell at the first hurdle in Gabon.

"We must score the goals that will give us maximum points at the Namboole Stadium as we are hungry to go back to AFCON after qualifying last year," he told KweséESPN.

"I know Tanzania will be hungry to come and win because defeat would put them in a terrible situation," he added, "but as a team we know what is at stake and we must work hard to make sure we collect maximum points.

"We call upon our fans to come in big numbers to support the team."