By OKELLO ALLAN
MALAWI- SHIFTMEDIA- It is a Do or Die encounter when Uganda Cranes face the Flames of Malawi in a thriller AFCON 2022 qualifier.
Ugandan Cranes who are 8 points behind table leaders Burkina Faso meet the Flames who have 7 points, just a point behind them at the Kamuzu National Stadium in Blantyre.
Uganda needs a draw to qualify for the finals that will be played in Cameroon, while Malawi must win if they are to compete in the AFCON that they last attended in 2020 in Angola.
The Cranes landed safely yesterday aboard the Uganda Airlines Bombardier.
An advance party from the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) arrived in Malawi ahead of today’s crucial 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
FUFA, through its official Facebook page, confirmed that Uganda National Team Officer Paul Mukatabala and Head of Medical at the Federation Dr James Ssekajugo are currently in Malawi ahead of the do or die match from which one winner will qualify for the next year’s tournament slated for Cameroon.
“An advance team led by National Teams’ Officer, Paul Mukatabala and FUFA head of Medical, Dr James Ssekajugo are already in Malawi.
“Uganda Cranes face Flames of Malawi in the final group game of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers on Monday,” reads the statement.
A draw will be enough for the Cranes to seal Group B’ final qualification spot behind Burkina Faso who qualified on Wednesday after a goalless draw with Uganda.
However, they are facing a stiff test from the Flames who are looking forward to their first Afcon appearance in a decade.
A win for Malawi will see them making it to the finals with ten points after they revived their qualification chances with a 1-0 away from home victory over South Sudan on Wednesday.
Cash Boost for the Flames
A Malawian cooking oil company, Capital Oil Refining Industries Limited (CORI) has pledged MK5 million (USD6,500) to the Malawi National Football Team if they beat Uganda today, local Malawi press reported.
“We have pledged MK 5 million to the Malawi National Football Team if they beat Uganda on Monday and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals. We have officially notified Football Association of Malawi of the pledge and if the team wins and qualify, we will release funding.
“We feel our pledge will motivate the Flames to work extra hard and beat Uganda. As CORI, we value sports and this is why we have made the pledge to inspire the Flames to win the crucial match,” said Violet Kapolo, the company’s Sponsorship Coordinator.
Malawi revived their chance of making it to Cameroon alive by beating South Sudan 1-0 to register their second win in the qualifying round.
The Flames are third with seven points, a point behind Uganda and a win will see them earn an automatic place at the next year’s tournament to qualify for the first time in a decade.
But the Cranes squad not in Malawi for a draw, but a win according to team Coach Mubiru. The last time Cranes played Malawi, they wallope it 2-0.
The match starts at 4pm East African time