Uganda have not won against Egypt in the last 52-years and have only managed three draws ever since:
The Uganda Cranes became the first team to be knocked out of the 2017 Nations Cup after a 1-0 defeat to Egypt marking the 13th loss in 52-years. Uganda last beat Egypt in 1965 and it wasn’t any different after Saturday’s match last whistle.
This was the second game the Cranes were playing in the Group stages of the AFCON 2017 Tournament and it wasn’t any better than the first despite an exciting 88-minutes.
Uganda started the game brightly contesting for possession with an-all defesive-midfield comprised of Tonny Mawejje, Khalid Awucho and Geoffrey Kizito getting the better of the Egyptians.
Tony Mawejje and Aucho Khalid had the stilth needed in the middle of the pack but it was Geofferey Kizito who looked rather dull wasting passes and losing possession on a number of counts.
Roma striker, Mohamed Salah, had a shot blocked by Hassan Wasswa after flashing Khalid Aucho into the air with a fine left foot flick early in the first half.
Denis Onyango made some fine saves including the headed clearance after the Ugandan defense had been broken through to keep the hopes of the Cranes earning a point alive.
Faruku Miya sent a series of shots wide, with the most notable one coming off a clinical 1-2 with Tony Mawejje. The Standard Liege forward kept on trying to break through the Egyptians defense but nothing could come to fruition and later had to be withdrawn for Nicolous Wadada.
It looked like the grand moment had come for the Cranes in the second half but Joseph Ochaya’s goal was ruled off-side. Egypt veteran Goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary, continued to compose his defesnse and made a few counting saves as the Cranes continued to miss chances.
Uganda had Onyango calling for treatment when he kicked the ball out of play with a thigh problem, but this seemed to be a bother to Senegalese referee, Malang Diedhiou, who was seen feuding with the goalkeeper after being attended to.
Egypt had a rough moment in the second half and the fact that Uganda could only register 2-shots on goal could only be explained by the lack of creativity in front of goal. This partly explains why Geofferey Massa looked so blunt on the night and kept on withdrawing deeper into midfield.
The Pharaohs had moments to break through Uganda’s defense but were often denied by the Cranes defense who looked determined to keep it “tight at the back”.
Murshid Juuko, who was played in place of the errant Isaac Isinde was in fine form, out marking Marwan Mohsen, not forgetting the moment he slid into the Al Ahly forward’s move to drag the ball out off his feet.
The Cranes kept on pressing high up on the pitch, sending cross balls but the Egyptian defense looked too organised to be beaten from that approach.
Mohamad Shaban was brought in place of Massa but disappeared into the game shortly, his last visible moment turning out to be the minute he stepped on to the pitch.
Despite the fine show-up in the game, it was a few seconds in the dying minutes when the Cranes defense lost concentration to define their fate in the competition. Hassan Wasswa seemed to have forgotten his role, a situation that forced Godfrey Walusimbi to stretch deeper to cover his compatriot, forgetting his role too. With the two defenders out of of the way, Salah checked his shot to infront of Walusimbi and played in El Said with a reverse pass, whose close-range shot went through Onyango’s legs.
And that was the end of the dream for the Ugandan fans who expected the unthinkable.
Cranes Coach, Micho, hint at lack of Experience as the reason why the team was knocked-out of the tournament.
Uganda now face Mali in the final round of group games on Wednesday, with Mali needing a win and for Ghana to beat Egypt by two goals or more if they are to qualify.
If they fail to score on Wednesday, the Cranes will leave the tournament without a single point or goal after losing the first and second games to Ghana and Egypt respectively without scoring.
Uganda still have a chance to inflict revenge on Ghana and Egypt when they meet in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers were they were pit in the same group, E, on August 28th and October 2nd respectively.