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McKinstry reveals why Mawejje was retained for Uganda against Zambia

Cranes defeated their opponents 2-0 after their opening 1-1 draw with the Indomitable Lions

Uganda coach Johnathan McKinstry has explained he had to start midfielder Tony Mawejje against Zambia to ensure his team had the right balance in midfield.

The East African giants played Chipolopolo in their second pre-African Nations Championship (Chan) game on Monday evening and managed to get a 2-0 win. Vianne Ssekajugo and Steven Mukwala scored in either half to hand the Cecafa nation victory over their former coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s side.

The youthful coach made 10 changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Cameroon in the opening game.

“We are very pleased following our second game here in Cameroon after what was a very positive performance against the host Nation a few days ago with 10 men,” McKinstry said after the win.

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“We decided to basically change everybody in the team. We made 10 changes in the starting lineup but maintained one in Tonny Mawejje and that was purely to make sure the midfield had the right balance. 

“We knew before the game that he would come out at half-time and Shafik Kagimu would come in. 

“We knew what substitutes would be made. The players knew what would happen at half time. Overall, I thought that the 10 players who came in put up a good performance.”

The 35-year-old has further stated why he feels his team deserved to walk home with a win.

“To win 2-0 against a quality Zambia team, I felt we deserved it because we created quality chances in the game,” McKinstry continued.

“There is no doubt Zambia created chances as well but I felt they were more half-chances compared to ours which were quality chances. When you create good chances you are most probably going to score.”

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Despite the win, the Northern Irish tactician believes Chipolopolo were tougher than the Indomitable Lions.

“I was pleased with the [players]. I was pleased with their application.

“If anything, I thought this was a more difficult game than the Cameroon game. I thought Zambia created more problems for us compared to the Cameroon game, but that then goes back to players to show their resilience and organization. 

“We are very pleased as a coaching staff. We still have work to do but moving in the right direction.” 

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