Former Uganda Cranes defender Hassan Wasswa Mawanda has issued a sounding warning to the current crop to be fully wary of Tanzania ahead of their double-header in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Cranes have been dominant in this fixture over the years especially at regional level, but have severally come short at the same big stage when it matters most.
Wasswa feels the Taifa Stars are a much-improved team, which Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevich's charges can't afford to take for granted, first on Friday at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia, Egypt.
"No doubt, Tanzania are a much-improved side," claimed Wasswa in an interview with Pulse Sports Uganda on Tuesday.
Micho's troops have four victories over their rivals in the previous five meetings, but the latter won the most recent tie, a 1-0 win in an international friendly played in September 2022.
"The Tanzanians are fully motivated with all the money, but it's a tie Uganda can't afford to lose because of its importance towards the qualification," he added.
"Victory over both legs is an achievable target for the Cranes, though," he went on. "They just have to work hard, have belief and play as a team."
The Ismailia bout will be a home tie away from home for the Cranes before the second leg four days later in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
"It doesn't help when we play our home games away because the boys need the support of the fans, which they won't get in Egypt."
"But first, we have to win the Friday game and then work for at least a draw in Dar es Salaam because there it will be harder."
The Cranes are rock-bottom of Group F with one point, the exact tally as third-placed Tanzania. Meanwhile, Niger (two) and Algeria (six) occupy second and first, respectively and are slated to meet on Friday.