The Uganda National Football team, Uganda Cranes is out to revenge on Ghana who beat them 2-0 in 1978 African Nations Cup Final game. The Cranes have never qualified for the continental tournament since then and today’s game is the first in the tournament in 39 years. Fans in Kampala are buoyant mood with most of them donning Cranes jerseys to work today.
Uganda vs Ghana preview (BBCSport) 7:00PM
Ghana and coach Avram Grant want to go one better than in 2015 when they lost the final to Ivory Coast on penalties.
Striker Asamoah Gyan and West Ham midfielder Andre Ayew were part of the team two years ago, and their experience and quality is expected to help the Black Stars see off Uganda.
Uganda pair Murushid Juuko and Khalid Aucho are both suspended.
The Cranes are at the tournament for the first time since 1978, when they lost to hosts Ghana in the final.
That history adds a little extra spice to the Group D match.
More recently, however, Uganda held Ghana to a 0-0 draw in Tamale in October in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Grant’s side will therefore certainly not underestimate their opponents, who are staying alongside them in the same Port-Gentil hotel.
The Black Stars are in Gabon looking to win an elusive fifth title – their last came in 1982.
Uganda have never dine better than that runners-up spot 39 years ago.
Ghana are ranked ninth in Africa and 54th in the world while Uganda are 18th in Africa and 73rd in the world.
Mali Vs Egypt 10:00PM
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary will become the oldest player to compete at the African Nations Cup finals if he plays against Mali.
But El Hadary, who turned 44 on Sunday, is not certain of his place as Egypt insist a choice has yet to be made between their three goalkeepers.
Mali are monitoring the fitness of Monaco midfielder Adama Traore, who has not trained because of a knee problem.
Coach Alain Giresse led the team to the 2102 semi-finals, when Gabon co-hosted.
He will be hoping to at least repeat the achievement but preparations have been hampered by a disrupted journey from the team’s pre-tournament base in Morocco.
The countries have met only once before in the tournament with Mali shocking Egypt 1-0 in a 1994 quarter-final through a Soumaila Traore goal.
Egypt have been champions a record seven times with the 1959, 1986 and 2006 successes coming as hosts. The other titles were won in Sudan (1957), Burklna Faso (1998), Ghana (2008) and Angola (2010).
Mali came closest to glory in 1972 when they lost the final 3-2 against Congo-Brazzaville after conceding three goals within seven minutes during the second half in Yaounde.
The Pharaohs of Egypt are ranked third in Africa and 35th in the world while the Eagles of Mali are 13th in the African listings and 64th in the world.