EGYPT 1-0 UGANDA: RECORD HOLDERS PICK CRUCIAL WIN
Uganda, otherwise resolute for large spells of the game were finally breached by a last-ditch Abdallah El Said strike to send the Cranes crashing out of the AFCON in their first appearance since 1978. The Cranes lost to Ghana in their opening game and were looking forward to getting at least a point in this game to still keep their chances of qualification alive and into the last match day.
And it was going according to plan until El Said’s strike very late into the game which affords Egypt some breathing space going into the last round of games. The game generally was a pretty lackluster one with chances very few and far in between and with Uganda setting up to frustrate Egypt and try to hit them on the break when they get the chance, it worked a treat. Joseph Ochaya’s strike earlier in the game was correctly ruled out for offside and Onyango had to be resolute to clear a goal bound effort from Salah in an otherwise dour and stale first half.
Uganda looked much better and revitalized in the second half testing veteran Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary on a couple of occasions with some teasing set piece crosses and strikes but that was all there was to it as far as the Cranes’ onslaught was concerned. Egypt had improved themselves in the second stanza and had quite decent chances of their own to get their noses in front but the likes of Marwan Moshen and Shafy all spurned.
And just when it looked like Egypt were heading for their second consecutive draw, substitute El Said stepped up with and 89th minute effort to breathe life into Egypt’s AFCON campaign. Salah, who had not had the best of nights had the chance to shoot from close range but bided his time and showed incredible composure to tee the onrushing El Said who would not miss from close range, 1-0 and what was the winner as well.
The victory leaves Egypt in second place with 4 points, behind Ghana with 6 points who earlier on in the day beat Mali by the same score line to seal their place in the quarterfinal, Mali lie 3rd with just a single point and are still in with a chance of qualification whiles Uganda cruelly have been sent packing even with a game to spare.
What is means is that, Ghana need at least just a single point against Egypt to top group D whiles Egypt will be looking to victory to seal qualification and top spot as well. For Mali, they will hope Ghana beat Egypt by quite a convincing score line and they will also have to hold their end of the bargain by beating Uganda before they can qualify. Still all to play for in Group D and Wednesday will prove decisive.