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African Nations Cup qualifiers: Group L Preview

Uganda celebration Getty Images

KweséESPN preview Group L in African Nations Cup qualifying, as Uganda, Cape Verde, Tanzania and Lesotho compete for a spot in Cameroon in 2019.

Uganda reached this year's edition after almost four decades in the wilderness and, having rubbed shoulders with the continent's elite, will be planning for a quick return.

They are the favourites to finish top of Group L where they meet Cape Verde in their opening game on Saturday, while Tanzania host Lesotho in the other group encounter.

Uganda were eliminated at the first hurdle in Gabon in January, but the experience came as a major boost to the Cranes and they now have a target on their back.

"We have just come from Afcon finals and every country must be looking at us," Cranes captain Hassan Wasswa said ahead of Saturday's match in Praia.

"That's why we have to maintain our good performances, because any team playing will always try to come all out."

It is not too dissimilar to what Cape Verde experienced after emerging as shock qualifiers in 2013, before reaching the quarterfinals after holding hosts South Africa to a draw along the way.

Cape Verde disappointed in the qualifiers for the continental showpiece in Gabon earlier this year, and many of the team who put them on the map have moved on.

The return of coach Lucio Antunes has not reignited the magical fires as hoped.

Tanzania have been in Egypt for a week preparing for Saturday's game against Lesotho in Dar-es-Salaam.

"They have shown positive signs and are building confidence ahead of the qualifier," said Taifa Stars coach Salum Mayanga. "I'm confident that this team will post positive results against Lesotho on Saturday."

Lesotho have called up Napo Matsoso, a college student from the USA who left the country at the age of 12, and are set to hand him a debut.

Squads

CAPE VERDE

Goalkeepers: Ivan Cruz (Gil Vicente, Portugal), Thierry Graça (Estoril, Portugal), Vozinha (Gil Vicente, Portugal)

Defenders: Tiago Almeida (Moreirense, Portugal), Babanco (Feirense, Portugal), Carlitos (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus), Jeffrey Fortes (Excelsior Rotterdam, Netherlands), Gégé (Paços Ferreira, Portugal), Jozimar Lima (FC Emmen, Netherlands), Kevin Oliveira (Swope Park Rangers, US), Steven Pereira (MVV Maastricht, Netherlands), Vally (Progresso Sambikula Lunda Sul, Angola)

Midfielders: Jamiro Monteiro (SC Cambuur, Netherlands), Ponck (Chaves, Portugal), Sérgio Semedo (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus), Marco Soares (AEL Limassol, Cyprus), Hélder Tavares (Tondela, Portugal)

Forwards: Jovane Cabral (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Wuilito Fernandes (Orange County SC, US), Jimmy Inês (Académica Coimbra, Portugal), Heldon Ramos (Rio Ave, Portugal), Garry Rodrigues (Galatasaray, Turkey), Ryan Mendes (Kayserispor, Turkey), Júlio Tavares (Dijon, France), Ze Luís (Spartak Moscow, Russia).

LESOTHO

Goalkeepers: Daniel Jousse, Sam Ketsekile (Lesotho Correctional Services), Likano Teele (Lesotho Defence Force)

Defenders: Ituemeleng Faleni, Thapelo Mokhehle (both Bantu), Mafa Moremoholo (Lioli), Mkwanazi Motlomelo (Sandawana), Bokang Sello, Kopano Tseka (both Lioli)

Midfielders: Lehlohonolo Fothoane (Swallows), Hlompho Kalake (Bantu), Tšoanelo Koetle (Lioli), Kefuoe Mahula (Matlama), Litšepe Marabe (Bantu), Napo Matsoso (University Kentucky, USA), Thabiso Mohapi (Bantu), Bokang Mothoana (Kick4Life), Tsietsi Motšeare (Sky Battalion), Jane Thabantšo (Matlama)

Forwards: Thabiso Brown (Kick4Life), Tumelo Khutlang (Lioli), Sera Motebang (Matlama), Thapelo Tale (Kick4Life).

TANZANIA

Goalkeepers: Beno Kakolanya (Young Africans), Aishi Manula (Azam FC), Said Mohammed (Mtibwa Sugar)

Defenders: Salim Abdallah (Azam FC), Abdi Banda, Mohammed Hussein (both Simba SC), Shomari Kapombe (Azam FC), Hassan Kessy, Haji Mwinyi Mngwali (both Young Africans), Aggrey Morris, Erasto Nyoni (both FC Azam)

Midfielders: Salum Abubakar (Azam FC), Shiza Kichuya (Simba SC), Himid Mao (Azam), Jonas Mkude (Simba SC), Simon Msuva (Young Africans), Farid Mussa (Tenerife, Spain), Said Ndemla, Muzamiru Yassin (both Simba SC),

Forwards: Ibrahim Ajib (Simba), Abdulrahman Mussa (Ruvu Shooting), Mbwana Samatta (Racing Genk, Belgium), Thomas Ulimwengu (AFC Eskilstuna, Sweden), Mbaraka Yussuf (Kagera Sugar).

UGANDA

Goalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan (Kampala Capital City Authority), Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Ismail Watenga (Vipers)

Defenders: Timothy Dennis Awanyi (Kampala Capital City Authority), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Isaac Muleme, Denis Okot Oola (both Kampala Capital City Authority), Nico Wadada (Vipers), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya)

Midfielders: Robert Kakeeto (Aalborg, Denmark), Aucho Khalid (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Bernard Muwanga (SC Villa Jogoo), Hassan Wasswa (Al Nijemh, Lebanon)

Forwards: Milton Karisa (Vipers), Faruk Miya (Excelsior Mouscron, Belgium), Derrick Paul Nsibambi (Kampala Capital City Authority), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (SC Villa Jogoo), Muhammed Shaban (Onduparaka), Geofrey Sserunkuma (Kampala Capital City Authority).