Uganda Cranes will miss the services of Murshid Juuko and Khalid Aucho in Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations Group D opener against Ghana through suspension.
Defender Juuko and midfielder Aucho have been ruled out of the crunch clash with one of Africa’s top-ranked teams on January 17 after picking up suspensions during the qualifiers.
The two players were among the Cranes’ best performers in the qualifiers that helped the lone Eastern African side qualify for this year’s tournament after a 39-year hiatus.
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic told supersport.com their absence was a huge blow.
“The two players have been very instrumental during our qualifiers and missing them in the first match is not good news, but again we have to accept it and see who can fit in their positions because we have to play after all,” Micho told supersport.com.
According to Caf rules, any suspensions garnered during the qualifying campaign will carry over into the finals of the tournament, although singular bookings will not be counted.
Meanwhile, Cranes began training at the Stade Tchengue in Port-Gentil.
The Cranes side landed in Gabon on Saturday after flying from their pre-tournament camp in the United Arab Emirates.
On Sunday they prepared for their clash against Ghana with training sessions at the Stade Tchengue, which is opposite the Stade de Port-Gentil where the Cranes will play two of their Group D matches.