Uganda has been drawn in Group E for the African qualifiers to the Fifa 2018 Russia World Cup along with continental giants Ghana and Egypt as well as Congo.
The Cranes will be up against familiar foes in all three opponents but according to head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, Uganda are the underdogs in Group E.
“We can be counted as underdogs but nobody has a right to take away from us humanity because the hope in sports with desire can spring a surprise,” he said.
The optimistic Micho told supersport.com that, “The mental part is the most important we need to break the jinx of Egypt once with Ghana and Congo to keep standards.”
“Technically, we shall be up to the standard but the question is can the whole country stand behind us with just 10 percent of the budget that others have? We can shock Africa.”
Uganda held the Black Stars to a 1-all draw in the Afcon 2015 qualifiers in Kumasi in September 2014 before stunning them 1-0 at Namboole Stadium in Kampala.
In 2012, Congo defeated Uganda 3-1 in Brazzaville in the Afcon 2013 qualifiers but the Cranes overturned the deficit in Kampala when they thrashed the Red Devils 4-0 in front of a fully packed stadium.
“Ugandans need to know that others in Africa look at us like boda bodas (taxi motorcycles) stranded in a race of Formula 1. I don’t agree with them as we can play against any team. The only worry I have is that if boda bodas have some fuel of support in the jam of competition we can even register a surprise.”
Uganda has never qualified for the Fifa World Cup but Micho believes his side can spring a surprise on the African continent to book a place to Russia.
Ghana have been to the past three World Cup editions making it to the round of 16 in 2006 in Germany, quarterfinals at the 2010 edition in South Africa and failed to make it past the group stages in 2014 in Brazil.
On the other hand, Egypt will be looking to return to the international stage for the first time in over two decades having last qualified in 1990 at the World Cup in Italy.
Meanwhile, Afcon 1972 winners Congo will be looking to book a ticket to Russia but they face a tough challenge in Group E.