DR Congo 0-2 Uganda
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
CAIRO – Uganda produced the first shock of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, defeating Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Patrick Kaddu and Emmanuel Okwi scored the goals for the Cranes, heading in two Farouku Miya deliveries.
Both sides started slowly as possession was concentrated in the middle of the pitch.
The first chance of the game fell to Congo’s Cedric Bakambu who received a defence splitting pass from Yannick Bolasie, turned swiftly but shot straight at Denis Onyango in Uganda’s goal.
Three minutes later, Abdu Lumala attempted a cross into the DRC penalty area but it was cleared out for a corner. From the resultant corner, Farouk Miya picked out Patrick Kaddu who nodded into the back of the net to hand Uganda a 1-0 lead on 11 minutes.
With DRC looking out of sorts, Bevis Mugabi sent a delicious cross into their area but Kaddu failed to hit the target while unmarked.
The home-based KCCA FC striker got another chance to increase his and Uganda’s tally, on 18 minutes, but headed straight at defender Marcel Tisserland, prompting DRC to clear their lines.
At the half hour mark, Khalid Aucho tried his luck from distance but his shot was expertly dealt with by Matampi.
The first yellow card was shown to Murushid Juuko of Uganda for a foul on Bakambu in the 33rd minute.
Uganda should have been given a penalty on 40 minutes after Matampi brought Miya down but the referee waved play on.
Moments later Mike Azira shot from distance and his effort kissed the top of the cross bar before it went out for a goal kick.
Inside the three added minutes to the end of the first half, Bakambu nearly drew Congo level but his shot on the turn, was expertly pushed out for a fruitless corner bu the ever-green Onyango.
At the break, Uganda looked to be the better side, on course for a major shock.
Like much of the first half, Uganda returned for the second in inspired fashion, doubling their lead on 48 minutes. Miya sent a dangerous free kick into the area and Emmanuel Okwi helped it on into the top left corner for 2-0.
DRC were looking dejected and Miya tried to capitalise as his long range free kick was tipped over by Matampi.
At the hour mark, Miya once again tried from a free kick but this time sent his effort straight at dread-locked custodian.
On 67 minutes, Kaddu missed a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed as he failed to connect with an Abdu Lumala cross while one on one with Matampi.
At the other end, substitute Bolingi cautioned a header onto the cross bar as Congo searched for a way back into the game.
With 16 minutes to play, the Cranes made their first substitution, taking off Kaddu and replacing him with Allan Kyambadde.
Moments after the substitution, Okwi blazed over from just outside the area, much to the frustration of the Uganda faithful.
Uganda were forced into a second substitution on 80 minutes as Lumala was stretchered off and replaced by Isaac Muleme.
In the end, Uganda held on to register their first victory at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
Okwi was named man of the match for his display that also saw the Simba SC striker score one of the two goals.
The result means Uganda moves top of group A with a better goal difference than Egypt who defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 on Friday.
The Cranes next game will be against Zimbabwe while DRC will look to save their campaign against Egypt on the same day.
How the two teams started
DR Congo XI: Matampi; Issama, Luyindama, Tisserand, Masuaku; Bope, Mbemba; Elia, Mpoku, Bolasie; Bakambu.
Uganda XI: Denis Onyango, Murushid Juuko, Hassan Wasswa, Bevis Mugabi, Godfrey Walusimbi, Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Abdul Lumala, Emmanuel Okwi, Farouku Miya, Patrick Kaddu.
The other games to be played on Saturday
-Nigeria vs Burundi @8pm
-Guinea vs Madagascar @11pm