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Date: 24 March 2019

  Eastern African - Soccer

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Diego returns to the Cranes

[Posted 07 Aug 2012]
[By Charles Malingha]
Diego returns to the Cranes

Hamis ’Diego’ Kiiza makes a return to the Uganda Cranes squad seven months since he featured for the national team. The Yanga Africans striker’s form at the just ended Cecafa Kagame Cup in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he scored six goals including one in the final was crucial in his recall.

Kiiza, one of the few Cranes players that graduated from the under 23 a year ago, is among the 25 summoned by the Fufa technical committee to start training at Namboole on August 8 ahead of the away friendly against Malawi seven days later.

The former URA striker’s last appearance for the Cranes was in December last year at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup where he scored the only goal against Zimbabwe in the quarterfinals before netting in the final’s shoot-out against Rwanda.

Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa believes the timing is right for Kiiza’s recall. "He is not a new guy in the Cranes,"Mwesigwa told Beez Sports "He has always been there though not playing in the starting team regularly. "But now that he has performed well with his club, I think he is on form and can help the Cranes."

The FC Ordabasy defender added: "Every player has to be given chance if he proves he is worth it. Kiiza is a good striker and it has been proven in the Cecafa. "So I think if he proves in training that he is the one to start, then I am sure the coach won’t hesitate to give him the slot."

Coach Bobby Williamson is using this game to fine-tune for the all-important 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Malawi’s neighbours and African defending champions, Zambia, next month.

Uganda will then entertain Herve Renard’s Chipolopolo in the return leg mid-October with the winners over the two legs qualifying for Africa’s soccer bonanza in South Africa. Notable absentees in the named squad include IBV goalkeeper Abel Dhaira, TP Mazembe’s Patrick Ochan and AIK Stockholm’s Martin Mutumba.


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