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Date: 24 March 2019

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Bobby has passed the test?

[Posted 22 Jun 2012]
[By Charles Malingha]
Bobby has passed  the test?

When Emmanuel Okwi waltzed past his last man to beat Congo Brazzaville goalkeeper Barel Mouko for a 4-0 mauling of the Red Devils, Bobby Williamson’s celebration told it all.

The Scot turned to his bench in full flight and delight, hugged everyone near him, his blue shirt under a black suit becoming more visible to even a more ecstatic 30,000-plus crowd at Namboole.

Facing arguably his toughest month of a four-year relationship with the Cranes, Bobby - together with his boys - had triumphed in the best possible way to release all the pressure that occupied their shoulders, especially after the failed 2012 Afcon campaign.

A trip to Angola and playing host to 2002 World Cup quarter finalists, Senegal - on the back of two defeats to Congo Brazzaville and Egypt (friendly) – was a litmus test for a side that lost three experienced players heading into the return leg on Saturday.

That they picked two points from the World Cup qualifying games against Angola and Senegal set them up psychologically for the game against Congo, in which they had to overturn a 3-1 deficit to advance to the final round of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers.

On the final whistle, they had passed the test, skipper Andy Mwesigwa, Godfrey Walusimbi, Geoffrey Massa and Okwi on the score sheet.

"Emma and Geoffrey both scored and Brian earned us the penalty. I could not have asked for better performance," Bobby said.

The major test that Bobby now has to pass is qualifying for the 2013 AFCON finals to be held in South Africa. After such a promising 2012 AFCON campaign, the Cranes disappointed when they fell at the last hurdle.

Should Uganda get either Ivory Coast or champions Zambia, and Bobby's men still manage to make it to South Africa 2013, then that will be Williamson's best test thus far in his reign as Uganda coach.

Despite failure in the last campaign, Bobby has managed to demonstrate to Africa and the World that there is abundant talent in Uganda. Yet, Bobby should be reminded, getting closer  to qualifying is in some people's eyes as good as dismal failure.

These are testing times for the respected and much loved Englishman, and it is a major hurdle to skip.


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