Uganda, Togo, Morocco and Rwanda were all heading to the pitch for their second Group C games of the African Nations Championship (Chan) last night as we published this.
But the topic of discussion remains as alive as the next and final group games on Tuesday night.
It will be the same kick-off times between Uganda versus defending champions Morocco and Rwanda against tournament debutants Togo in Cameroon.
That it is the first time for Togo to play a final group game excuses them from subject at hand.
How they fare
While Rwanda have never won a final group game, they had done their homework in the first two matches in 2016 before losing the final 4-1 to Morocco.
The Wasps ended that at the quarterfinals, eventually eliminated by DR Congo.
On their part, Morocco have won twice their final group games, 3-1 over Uganda at South Africa 2014, and Rwanda 2016.
Whereas Morocco drew goalless their final group game against Sudan at the 2018 edition, they had also done their homework early to lead the group en route to the title.
That is the opponent Uganda, who have lost twice to Gabon (2-1, 2011) and Morocco, and drawn as many (Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast) in their final group games, face on Tuesday to keep themselves in the tournament.
On all the above occasions, the Cranes have gone on to pack their bags and head home.
Must do a first
Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry and his boys know this and are desperate to turn the challenging tide.
“To me,” said the Northern Irishman, “It is an anomaly with the kind of quality players Uganda produces.
“We want to be here till the final weekend of Chan.”
For this to happen, the Cranes will have to do what they have never done on the final day.
The final of this tournament will be played on February 7.
The competition was supposed to have been played in April last year but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed to this year although the edition name remains the same.
Chan Group C
Tuesday | 10pm on KBC, StarTimes
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Uganda vs. Morocco
Togo vs. Rwanda
Team P W D L F A Pts
1.Morocco 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
2.Rwanda 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
3.Uganda 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
4.Togo 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Past final group results
2011 Gabon 2- 1 Uganda
2014 Morocco 3- 1 Uganda
2016 Uganda 1 – 1 Zimbabwe
2018 Ivory Coast 0-0 Uganda
2014 Morocco 3- 1 Uganda
2016 Rwanda 1 -4 Morocco
2018 Sudan 0-0 Morocco