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DAY 15 WORLD CUP PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: Senegal Praying For A Point To Progress, England And Belgium Fighting For First Place



Thursday 28 June
Japan vs Poland (Group H) – Volgograd – 5pm
Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) – Samara – 5pm
England vs Belgium (Group G) – Kaliningrad – 9pm
Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) – Saransk – 7pm
Japan could recall Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki, who has featured in both of their previous games as a substitute.
Veteran goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima has made costly errors in consecutive matches and may be replaced by 23-year-old Kosuke Nakamura.
Already eliminated Poland could make changes for their final game.
Experienced defender Kamil Glik made his comeback from a shoulder injury as a substitute against Colombia and may return to the starting line-up.

Japan have won the two previous games between these sides, scoring a total of seven unanswered goals.
They beat the Poles 5-0 in Hong Kong in February 1996 and won 2-0 in the Polish city of Lodz in March 2002. Both games were friendlies.

The only previous occasion Japan went through a World Cup group stage unbeaten was as co-hosts in 2002 (W2, D1).
Japan have failed to score in four of their last five World Cup games against European opponents (W1, D2, L2), with their only goals coming in a 3-1 victory over Denmark in 2010.
Keisuke Honda’s goal against Senegal made him the first Japanese player to score at three different World Cups (2010, 2014, 2018).
Honda has been involved in seven of Japan’s last 10 World Cup goals (four goals and three assists).

The only previous occasion that Poland failed to win a single game at a World Cup was on their debut in 1938. The tournament was pure knockout, and they were beaten 6-5 by Brazil after extra time.
The Poles were the first European side eliminated from the 2018 World Cup, and they have now bowed out at the group stage in three successive appearances (2002, 2006 and 2018).
They won their final group game in both 2002 and 2006.
Poland’s only previous World Cup meeting with an Asian side was their 2-0 defeat to tournament co-hosts South Korea in 2002.
The Poles have not kept a clean sheet at the World Cup since a 1-0 win against Portugal in 1986, conceding 23 goals in their 10 games since then.

Senegal used a 4-4-2 formation in the win against Poland but switched to 4-3-3 for the draw with Japan.
A point will guarantee they reach the last 16 so coach Aliou Cisse may be tempted to field a defensive line-up.
Carlos Sanchez is available for Colombia after serving a one-game suspension.
Fellow midfielder Abel Aguilar was forced off after half an hour against Poland because of an injury and will not be risked.
Mateus Uribe replaced him as a substitute and could be promoted to the starting line-up, while goalkeeper David Ospina is fit despite suffering a knock against the Poles.
James Rodriguez and Wilmar Barrios are one booking away from a ban, as are five Senegalese players.

Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse: “A player like Sadio Mane is a player with a lot of expectations and he is one of the players under the spotlight.
“He can do better, but [against Japan] he was better than against Poland and he needs to do better against Colombia.” Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman: “There are so many situations that can make or break a football team. This is a World Cup. We have to simply forget any quick judgements or prejudices that we might have.
“When I [choose] the starting line-up, I do it taking account of the whole context in which we find ourselves.”

Their only previous meeting was a friendly in Buenos Aires prior to the last World Cup in May 2014.
Colombia led 2-0 at half-time through goals from Teofilo Gutierrez and Carlos Bacca but Moussa Kounate and Cheikh Ndoye struck after the break to earn Senegal, who ended the game with 10 men, a 2-2 draw.

Senegal have faced South American opponents just once before in the World Cup, drawing 3-3 in their final group game in 2002 against Uruguay (a game in which they led 3-0).
The Senegalese kept a clean sheet in their first ever World Cup match, against France in 2002, but have not recorded a shut-out in any of their subsequent six games.
They have conceded three goals from just seven shots on target faced at this World Cup.
Moussa Wague, 19, became the first African teenager to score a World Cup goal in the 2-2 draw with Japan.
Senegal are unbeaten in the 15 matches Sadio Mane has scored in (W9, D6).

Los Cafeteros’ first World Cup match against African opposition was a 2-1 loss to Cameroon in extra time in 1990. Since then, they’ve beaten Tunisia (in 1998) and Ivory Coast (in 2014).
They have scored four goals from seven shots on target at the 2018 World Cup, including three from four against Poland.
Colombia’s 3-0 win against the Poles equalled their biggest win at the World Cup (in 2014 they beat Greece 3-0 and Japan 4-1).
James Rodriguez has six goals and four assists in seven World Cup appearances.

Both England and Belgium are assured of their place in the last 16, and are expected to make a number of changes for their final Group G game.
Three Lions midfielder Dele Alli, who suffered a muscle problem against Tunisia, trained on Wednesday but is unlikely to be risked.
Marcus Rashford and Gary Cahill could earn recalls, and Eric Dier will start.
Kevin de Bruyne, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen are a booking away from a ban and unlikely to play for Belgium.
Striker Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out, Dries Mertens also has an ankle issue while captain Eden Hazard has been nursing a calf problem.
Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini says the denouement to Group G between Belgium and England will be a “strange game”, and it certainly feels like it has a surreal edge to it.
With both sides already qualified, and level on points, goal difference and goals scored, their disciplinary records will decide who finishes top of the group if they draw in Kaliningrad. Should they still be level on that factor, the rare sight of the drawing of lots will take place to determine who finishes top.
There has been much debate in the media, pubs, offices and living rooms across England about whether Gareth Southgate’s side would actually be better off finishing second rather than top as it could see them avoid a quarter-final against Brazil.
It’s not something that Southgate is letting affect him. He said: “I’ve heard talk of it being better finishing second, but how do you work all that out, really?
“What I’ve discussed with the players is that we must not waste any energy thinking whether it’s better to be first or second in the group, or who we might play in future rounds.”
One thing in England’s favour is the incredible record they have against Belgium. Their only defeat in 21 meetings came back in 1936.

England are unbeaten in their previous two matches against Belgium at the World Cup.
They drew 4-4 in 1954 and won 1-0 in the second round in 1990 courtesy of a volley from David Platt in extra time.
They are unbeaten in the last 11 meetings with Belgium, most recently winning a friendly in June 2012.

England have scored eight goals at this World Cup, as many as in 1954 and 1990. The only time they have scored more was the 11 they netted in 1966.
The only time England have won all three of their games in the group stage of a World Cup was in 1982, when they beat France, Czechoslovakia and Kuwait.
Harry Kane has scored five goals in the group stage of this tournament. The last player to score more in the opening round of a World Cup was Russia’s Oleg Salenko, with six in 1994.
Kane has scored in each of his past five appearances for England. The last player to score in six games in a row for the Three Lions was Tommy Lawton in 1939.
The only England player to have scored more at a single World Cup is Gary Lineker, who scored six on his way to winning the Golden Boot in 1986.
Kane has five goals from five shots on target at this tournament.

Belgium have won each of their past two World Cup matches by a margin of three goals – no team has won three consecutive matches at the tournament by three or more goals.
This is the fifth occasion at a World Cup that Belgium have won their opening two matches – the only previous time they have won all three was in 2014.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 11 World Cup group games.
Michy Batshuayi scored one goal from six attempts from just 22 minutes of action so far.

Tunisia will have to use their third different goalkeeper in the tournament in their final match against Panama.
Mouez Hassen suffered a shoulder injury against England in their first game and Farouk Ben Mustapha, who played against Belgium, injured his knee in training.
That leaves Aymen Mathlouthi as the only available keeper in their squad.
Panama will have to make at least two changes from the side that lost 6-1 to England on Sunday as Michael Murillo and Armando Cooper are both suspended.
Tunisia will also be without central defender Dylan Bronn, who was carried off with a left knee injury after scoring in the 5-2 loss to Belgium on Saturday.
Both sides are already eliminated after two defeats each and Panama need to win to avoid finishing bottom of Group G in their first appearance at a World Cup finals.
Panama have conceded the most goals in this tournament as a 3-0 loss to Belgium was followed by the heavy defeat by England, although Felipe Baloy made history by becoming the first Panamanian player to score at a finals.
Tunisia will regret conceding a last-minute goal to Harry Kane as England won 2-1 in their opener, before the African side were outclassed by Belgium.
This was their first appearance at a finals since 2006 and they have maintained their unwelcome run of never making it out of the group phase. However, they will be confident of recording only their second World Cup victory, with their previous win being a 3-1 success over Mexico in 1978.
Tunisia are 21st in the world rankings, while Panama are down in 55th as they look for their first World Cup victory after their shock qualification, which pushed the United States out of contention in October.

This will be the first meeting between Panama and Tunisia.

Panama have conceded nine goals from 13 shots on target faced so far at the World Cup.
The last time a nation lost their first three World Cup games in their history – as Panama could do – was in 2006, with both Togo and Serbia doing so.
In their last game against England, Panama’s Felipe Baloy scored his country’s first World Cup goal, at the age of 37 years and 120 days.

Tunisia are winless in their last 13 World Cup matches (drew four, lost nine) since winning their first ever World Cup match in 1978 against Mexico.
Tunisia have already conceded more goals at this World Cup (seven) than they did in any of their previous four tournaments; their previous high was six conceded in 2006.
Tunisia’s only ever World Cup victory came in their only previous match against a North/Central American nation – beating Mexico 3-1 in 1978.
Tunisia faced 12 shots on target in their 5-2 defeat to Belgium, the most they have ever faced in a World Cup game.
No player has been involved in more World Cup goals for Tunisia than Wahbi Khazri (two), who both scored and assisted in their 5-2 defeat against Belgium.



Magogo’s Ticket Scandal Deepens: Lawyers Pin MP Anita Among, Land Probe Boss Of Playing Dirty Tricks And Exonerating Magogo From Corruption Charges



Moses Magogo and Anita Among

Suspended Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) president Moses Magogo’s 2014 world cup ticket scandal has deepened after lawyers pinned Bukedea woman Member of Parliament (MP) Anita Among and Assistant commissioner legal advisory in the solicitor general’s office,  John Bosco Rujagaata Suuza exenorating Magogo from corruption charges.

Early this week, Suuza who also doubles as the deputy lead counsel of the commission of inquiry into land matters gave his opinion stopping the Ministry of Education and Sports from investigating Magogo on corruption charges. Suuza’s opinion comes after a directive from Janet Kataha Museveni, the minister of education and sports to the Permanent Secretary of the same ministry seeking an opinion from government’s legal adviser on the way the ministry can handle   Magogo’s issue. Lawyers presenting the petitioner who is also the Makindye west legislator Allan Sewanyana challenged Suuza’s legal opinion not to investigate Magogo.

In an exclusive phone interview with the Grapevine, Sewanyana’s lead lawyer Allan Mulindwa said that, “we cannot agree with that opinion, we have evidence that it was drafted from FUFA house. It was taken to MP Anita Among’s office and Suuza signed on it from there,” Mulindwa said. He further revealed that MP Among acted as the broker and negotiated the deal between Magogo and officers in the solicitor general’s office.

He added that they have already written to Francis Atoke the solicitor general to revise the legal opinion.

It should noted that on Tuesday morning, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) publicist Ali Munira told theGrapevive that the directorate had not yet received the written directive from the Minister of Education and Sports to investigate Magogo. When we contacted Charles Atwine the investigating officer who is handling Magogo’s corruption file at the directorate of criminal intelligence, he told us that the file is not yet closed and they are still investigating the matter. He refuted claims by Sewanyana’s lawyers that Magogo and Edgar Watson, the FUFA Chief Executive Officer refused to appear at the CID headquarters to record statements.

“It’s not true. I am the one handling that file and I have not yet summoned them,” Atwine said. Sewanyana wants Magogo to be prosecuted locally in the anti-corruption court after pleading guilty in the FIFA disciplinary committee to illegally selling 2014 world cup tickets which FIFA had given to Ugandans to go and watch the games. After pleading guilty, Magogo was suspended two months from office as FUFA president.

By Jamil Lutakome


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Cranes Top Supporter Uncle Money Remanded For Killing City Businessman



Uganda Cranes number one supporter Jackson Sewanyana alias Uncle Money has been charged and remanded to Luzira prison over the murder of a city businessman. 

Buganda road court magistrate Miriam Ayo Okello charged Sewanyana who also doubles as the Kasubi zone IV Vice Chairperson and Benson Senyonga, his defense secretary with manslaughter.

According to the charge sheet, the accused together with others at large on 16/08 this year killed Siraja Akim Tumusiime a city businessman.

Tumusiime, a phone dealer at Mutasa Kafeero plaza was called by Uncle Money to buy their phones. When the deceased met them at Kasubi, uncle money grabbed him by the neck to forced him into a valley while warning him that he was going to be killed. 

Abdul Mulembe, a brother to the deceased told this website that he followed uncle money with his brother until they warned him to stop following them, he feared and backed off.

He said that when Uncle Money murdered the deceased, he dumped the body at Mulago mortuary where the family picked it from.

The case was adjourned to 1/10/2019.

By Sengooba Alirabaki


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You Are Greedy And Dishonest, Only A Fool Will Believe That Desabre Accepted To Leave Because Whatever He Has Done, We Saw It On The Pitch – Aldrine Nsubuga Blasts Magogo’s FUFA



Football pundit Aldrine Nsubuga who is currently the marketing director at StarTimes has blasted football governing body Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) for being Greedy and dishonest to Ugandans concerning the departure of the National team the Cranes coach Sabastian Desabre.

Aldrine, who in 2012 led Save Our Soccer (SOS) pressure group that called for the resignation of the regime at that time led by Lawrence Mulindwa over poor governace and mismanagement has warned that Magogo’s FUFA are lying about Desabre’s resignation.

Today morning, FUFA released a statement saying that Mr. Desabre Sebastien Serge Louis mutually agreed to terminate his contract.

“The reasons for termination of the employment contract are for the benefit and growth of both parties. FUFA recognises the contribution by Mr. Desabre for the improvement of the sporting and professional organisation of the Uganda Cranes inclusive of qualification to the AFCON 2019 Finals and also to the Round of 16,” the statement stated

“Mr. Desabre is grateful to the people and the Government of Uganda, FUFA, Sponsors, Staff and the players that have provided him a good environment to fulfill his obligations in his first time role as a National Team Coach.

FUFA will communicate any further development about the Uganda Cranes technical staff and future programmes of the National senior team in the nearest future,” the statement concluded.

Desabre with Uganda Cranes winger Farouk Miya


In response, Aldrine, via his Facebook page said, ” Desabre is out! Contract terminated.

By mutual consent.

The moment you see those words ‘mutual consent’ you know it wasn’t. It’s the language used in professional football purely for PR purposes.

It gives us the freedom and right to speculate. So we can begin now…..if you know something tell us. ‘Mutual consent’ is a white collar term used to cover ugly truths. Lets be wiser.. I will go first…

The money. The embarrassment. The dishonesty. One of the parties (FUFA or Desabre) must be guilty of committing one of those crimes which led to the pre-mature end.

Could it be Desabre who ate No.

Is it Desabre who embarrassed the nation? No.

Is it Desabre who has been dishonest? No.

Whatever Desabre has done, we saw on the pitch. Did we see everything that the players did? Yes we did..including the strike and the reasons were put in broad day light. There was nothing hidden.

That leaves FUFA – do we know everything that FUFA did behind the scenes? No we don’t. They are the only ones between the 3 parties whose actions and deeds were never fully known to the public.

Mutual.consent? Only a fool will believe that.

You think we have moved a the right direction but then , as always, we conspire to kill our own progress.

Ugandan football loses another good man in the name of ? Greed. This is always the problem.. Now let me wait for the guns to be turned against me for speaking about this. It comes with the territory.

Now what do you know, tell us….we are all ears.”


President Museveni will on Monday at 4pm host the Uganda Cranes contingent that returns home tomorrow from the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt to congratulate the team for its great performance that saw them make it to the knock out phase of the AFCON tournament for the first time since 1978.

The Cranes contingent will leave Cairo at 10.50pm on Sunday night and arrive in Entebbe on Monday morning aboard Egypt Air.

By Doreen Menezer


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