Uganda 0-2 Egypt
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Uganda Cranes sealed a round of 16 spot at the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations despite losing 0-2 to Egypt on Sunday.
Sebastien Desabre’s side had as many as 17 shots on goal but could not find the back of the net on a disappointing night.
Mohammed Salah gave Egypt the lead before Ahmed Elmohamady doubled their it before halftime.
Needing just a draw to seal a spot in the round of 16, Uganda started strongly but were reduced to shots from distance.
Both Farouku Miya and top scorer-Emmanuel Okwi struck straight at Muhammad El Shanawy but their efforts never looked like finding the net.
The Cranes have looked dangerous from set plays and Miya had a first half, free kick just clear the cross bar after Allan Kyambadde was fouled.
Egypt were dealt an early blow as Ahmed Hassan who had earlier suffered a kick on the calf by Khalid Aucho, was stretchered off on 25 minutes and replaced by Morwan Moshen.
Uganda were the better side in the opening half an hour and with Egypt all over the place defensively, Kyambadde tried his luck from distance but just like Miya and Okwi earlier, El Shanawy was behind the effort, comfortably.
The trend of shooting from long range, continued and Kyambadde had another shot tipped over by the Pyramids’ custodian.
The Pharaohs were vulnerable in defence but the Cranes were failing to capitalize.
Lumala had two decent opportunities to score his first goal but shot straight at El Shanawy before the custodian was forced to make another save immediately, this time pushing the Syrianska forward’s header away from danger.
Against the run of play, Egypt took the lead as Muhammad Salah curled in a free kick from 23 yards on 36 minutes.
They should have doubled their lead a minute later but after running through on goal, Muhammed Trazeguet saw his shot saved by Denis Onyango.
With half time beckoning, right-back Ashraf Akimi was left with too much room to send a low cross into the area, before captain Elmohamady struck the ball beautifully, taking deflection into the back of the net to double Egypt’s lead.
Uganda started the second half like they did in the first but were failing to create decent chances and looked suspect at the back.
Salah could have punished them but failed to beat Onyango in a one on one situation after the Liverpool forward was played in superbly, by Trazeguet.
Aucho had a chance to bring the game to 2-1 but after Miya’s free kick eluded everyone and found him unmarked at the back post, the midfielder flushed his effort across goal and was unlucky as Akimi deflected it out for just a corner.
With 20 minutes to play, Aucho who came into the game a booking away from suspension, was replaced by Vipers’ Tadeo Lwanga in what looked to be a protective change.
Moments later, Onyango was stretchered off with what looked like a concussion with Robert Odongkara coming on.
Uganda’s best chance of the game fell to Okwi, pouncing onto a lame Ahmed Hegazi clearance but the Simba SC forward dinked his effort just wide of the left-hand post.
In their last substitution, Kizito Luwaga replaced the ineffective Allan Kyambadde with 11 minutes to play but the former Vipers SC forward could not change anything in terms of the result.
After DR Congo demolished Zimbabwe 4-0 in the other Group A game, the Cranes qualify for the second round in second place, 5 points behind leaders Egypt.
The Cranes team that started against Egypt
Denis Onyango (Robert Odongkara), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Timothy Awanyi, Hassan Wasswa, Khalid Aucho (Tadeo Lwanga), Mike Azira, Farouk Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, Abdu Lumala, Allan Kyambadde (Kizito Luwaga).
The other games on Sunday
-Madagascar 2-0 Nigeria
-Burundi 0-2 Guinea
-Namibia vs Ivory Coast @8pm
-South Africa vs Morocco @8pm
-Kenya vs Senegal @10pm
-Tanzania vs Algeria @10pm