Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango warns Egypt to expect 'fireworks'

Denis Onyango
Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango is keen to avenge the Cranes' defeat to Egypt which knocked them out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon

Uganda captain Denis Onyango has warned Egypt to expect "fireworks" during their 2018 World Cup qualifier in Kampala on Thursday.

The last time the two sides met, Egypt beat Uganda with an 89th minute goal at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

The Cranes' goalkeeper says it adds extra spice to their Group E tie.

"It's going to be fireworks in Kampala because they know what kind of a team we are," Onyango told BBC Sport.

"They beat us at the Afcon in the last minute of the game, I think it shows their experience and we lost concentration at the back.

"Winning the home game will set the pace for us before we travel for the return leg in Alexandria on September 5th," said Onyango, who plies his trade in South Africa with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Egypt, record seven times African champions, are currently top of Group E following wins over Congo Brazzaville and Ghana.

Uganda are second in the group, two points adrift, following a victory over Congo Brazzaville and an away draw with the Black Stars of Ghana.

"I think we started off well against Ghana and got the result against Congo in Kampala and it's an opportunity for us to go top of the group if we get the results against Egypt," said Ongyango.

Denis Onyango and Mohamed Salah
Denis Onyango has earmarked Egypt's Mohamed Salah as a big threat to Uganda

Onyango, who was named as the Africa-based Footballer of the Year in January, says although the Cranes are in confident mood, they are fully aware of the danger the Pharaohs pose.

"We know how strong they are going forward because they've got very good attackers who are very experienced and very quick.

"For us we just need to be very patient at the back and avoid mistakes because they don't need a lot of chances.

"They're capable of scoring with the likes of Mohamed Salah, so for us it's a challenge but to play at the highest level we must face very difficult teams like Egypt," Onyango added.

Speaking about life after the departure of head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic - who guided them to the Nations Cup finals for the first time in 39 years - the goalkeeper admitted it was a big blow but life had to continue.

"In sport, coaches come and go and the same happens to players.

"We must adjust to the coaching staff available and we simply do what is expected of us," Onyango said.

Uganda Cranes will also play without retired striker Geoffrey Massa and midfielder Tony Mawejje who were all part of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations team.

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