Walusimbi relishes Uganda's African Cup of Nations return

AFP , Friday 6 Jan 2017,
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Ugandan
Ugandan's national team (Reuters)

Ugandan midfielder Godfrey Walusimbi said Friday that the Cranes' first African Cup of Nations appearance in four decades had handed players the opportunity of a lifetime.

Walusimbi, 27, and his fellow Kenyan-based defender, Shafik Batambuze were named Thursday as part of Uganda's 23-man squad for the biennial competition which starts in Gabon on January 14.

"For us Ugandans, this chance comes once in a lifetime. I cannot wait to play there and make some piece of history," the left-footed Walusimbi, who turns out for the former Kenyan league champions Gor Mahia said in Nairobi.

Uganda will play in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 38 years.

In the final round of qualifying for Gabon, Uganda managed to win four of their six matches and finished tied on 13 points with Burkina Faso, who headed the group.

Uganda's best ever performance at the African Cup of Nations was as runner-up to hosts Ghana in 1978, but they remain a long shot among the 16 finalists in Gabon.

The Cranes will come up against the Black Stars of Ghana again in the first match on January 17. The other Group D teams are Egypt and Mali.

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1