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WORLD CUP ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: England Are Unbeaten Against Colombia In 5 Previous Meetings PLUS Sweden vs Switzerland



Sweden named the same side in their final two group games but will have to make at least one change, with Hull midfielder Sebastian Larsson suspended.
He is likely to be replaced by either Genoa’s Oscar Hiljemark or Seattle Sounders’ Gustav Svensson.
The wife of Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist is due to give birth on Tuesday, but he has hinted he will play regardless of any developments.
Switzerland are without two of their regular back four.
Fabian Schar and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner are both serving one-game bans.
Michael Lang will deputise for Lichtsteiner at right-back, while Schar’s place at centre-back is expected to go to either Johan Djourou or Nico Elvedi.
Neither Haris Seferovic nor Mario Gavranovic have convinced up front, so it remains to be seen who leads the line against the Swedes.
It is 24 years since Sweden won a knockout game at the World Cup, while opponents Switzerland have not scored a goal at this stage since 1954. But despite that limited pedigree, both will sides will have realistic ambitions of reaching the latter stages in Russia.
The Swiss, who sit sixth in the Fifa rankings, are the highest-placed side in the bottom half of the draw, while the Swedes come into this game on a high following the impressive 3-0 win against Mexico, their biggest World Cup victory since 1994.
The Swedes had just 24.5% possession against the Germans and 33.5% versus the Mexicans, and are happy to sit deep and play on the counter-attack. It may not please the purists, but midfielder Albin Ekdal is unconcerned.
“Who the hell cares?” he said. “We’re best at maximising. We can’t compete with France or Spain when it comes to skill on the ball, but luckily football is not decided by ‘tiki-taka’ passes.”

This will be the first time these sides have met in a major tournament.
The most recent encounter was a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Malmo in 2002.
Roy Hodgson was the Swiss coach the last time they beat the Swedes. He guided them to a 4-2 win in a European Championship qualifier in Berne in October 1994.
Sweden are unbeaten in the three meetings since then (W1, D2).

This will be Sweden’s 50th World Cup game (W18, D13, L18). They will become the 11th team to reach that tally. Only Mexico have featured in more games than the Swedes without winning the trophy.
The Swedes have never won back-to-back World Cup games (excluding penalty shoot-outs) outside of their own country. They did so twice as a host nation in 1958, reaching the final.
Since ending as runners-up in 1958, the Swedes have progressed past the second round (whether last 16 or second group stage) just once – when they finished third at the 1994 tournament.
Between them, Emil Forsberg and Marcus Berg have had 21 of Sweden’s 37 shots at the 2018 World Cup (57%), but neither player has scored.
The Swedes have reached the knockout stage at each of their last four World Cup appearances (in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2018).
Sweden completed just 72.8% of their passes in the group stage – only Iran and Iceland recorded lower figures.

Switzerland have not scored a goal in the knockout stage of a World Cup since their 7-5 loss to Austria in the quarter-finals at the 1954 tournament (which they hosted).
The last Swiss to score a knock-out goal at the tournament was Josef Hugi, who netted a hat-trick in the 7-5 defeat, including Switzerland’s final goal.
Switzerland reached the round of 16 in 1994, 2006 and 2014, bowing out to Spain, Ukraine and Argentina respectively and failing to score a single goal.
Their only knockout goal at a major tournament since 1954 was Xherdan Shaqiri’s spectacular volley against Poland in the last 16 at Euro 2016.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side have only lost one of their last 25 games (W17, D7). That was a 2-0 loss to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.

England’s Dele Alli is available for selection again after missing the group matches against Panama and Belgium.
Manager Gareth Southgate is set to recall the players he rested against the Belgians, including captain Harry Kane, who has five goals so far.
Colombia will monitor the fitness of star midfielder James Rodriguez, who was forced off against Senegal.
A scan of his right calf has revealed swelling but no muscle tear, though it is unclear if he will be fit to start.
Fellow midfielder Wilmar Barrios could be recalled to the starting line-up, with Colombia potentially fielding a more conservative line-up than in their must-win game against Senegal.
No previous winners left in England’s side of the draw, only one country ranked higher, a young hungry team seemingly unburdened by previous failures, and a golden boot chasing striker…what could possibly go wrong?
…Well, if history is anything to go by, quite a lot. The Three Lions have infamously won just two, yes two, knockout games at a World Cup since the heady days of Italia ’90 (v Denmark in 2002 and Ecuador four years later).
Aside from the glory of 1966 they have also never beaten a top-tier team in the knockout stages at a finals. Oh, and the dreaded spectre of penalties looms large. No country has lost more shoot-outs at a World Cup than the three England have (level with Italy and Spain) – they’ve lost a total of six out of seven at major tournaments.
But what of opponents Colombia? They achieved their best-ever performance at a World Cup in 2014 by reaching the quarter-finals before losing to hosts Brazil. “We are a better team than four years ago,” says goalkeeper David Ospina. “We are together, more experienced and a stronger squad of players than we were in Brazil. Our players play in the best clubs, the best leagues, and are used to playing in matches of this size, so nothing will frighten us.”
England are unbeaten against Colombia in five previous meetings. Michael Owen scored a hat-trick in the most recent match, which England won 3-2 in New Jersey in 2005.
The Three Lions beat Colombia 2-0 in their only previous World Cup encounter thanks to goals from Darren Anderton and David Beckham in the group stage of the 1998 tournament.

This is the third time Colombia have made the knock-out stage. The only previous occasion they’ve gone past the round of 16 was in Brazil four years ago.
They are unbeaten in eight games versus European opposition since head coach Jose Pekerman took charge in 2012 (W6, D2).
Los Cafeteros have scored in each of their last eight World Cup games – the last side to stop them scoring in the tournament was England in 1998.
None of Colombia’s 21 matches at the World Cup have ended goalless. Only the USA (33) and Austria (29) have played more games in the competition without registering a 0-0.
Juan Quintero has been directly involved in three of Colombia’s five goals at this World Cup, scoring in their first match and delivering an assist in the second and third game.
Against Senegal, Colombia didn’t have a touch inside the opposition penalty area until the 57th minute (from substitute Luis Muriel).

England have won two of their last eight World Cup knockout games.
Their last knock-out victory in the World Cup came against South American opposition, when they beat Ecuador 1-0 in the round of 16 in 2006.
England have only failed to score in one of their 18 knockout games at the World Cup – in the 0-0 draw against Portugal in the 2006 quarter-finals (won by Portugal on penalties).
Harry Kane has played just 153 minutes at the World Cup but he has already scored five goals, second only to Gary Lineker’s record of 10 for England.
If Kane finds the net against Colombia, he will become the first player to score in six consecutive appearances for the Three Lions since Tommy Lawton back in 1939.
This will be England’s 18th game against South American opposition at the World Cup. They have won eight of the previous 17 (D3, L6).



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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