By : Danito Nsubuga
Group E of the CAF World cup qualifiers has just gotten tighter after Egypt fought to a hard earned home win against Uganda played at the fully packed Borge Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria.
Hector Cuper’s men started attacking right away from the onset and their strategy was repaid immediately in the 6th minute when midfielder Abdul El Said weighed a perfect cross that was cooly controlled by Mohammed Salah to score on a rebound passed a helpless Denis Onyango who had saved the Egyptian superstar’s first attempt.
The Egyptians were at it again only 10 minutes later and this time El Said was at the receiving end of a well knit cross from Salah but his close range header was saved by Onyango.
The Cranes’s best chance of the first half fell to Derrick Nsibambi but he failed to connect well with Emmanuel Okwi’s in swinging cross into the area thus heading way off wide and that’s how the first 45 minutes ended.
Enter the 2nd half, Basena made his first substitution of the night, withdrawing the ineffective Joseph Ochaya for William Kizito Luwagga.
The Cranes tried to get some grip on the game by maintaining more possession but with limited penetration, it’s at this point that Geoffrey Sserunkuuma came on for Emmanuel Okwi in the 68th minute.
Uganda were limited to set pieces and corner kicks as the only hope for a goal but their preference to start short corners proved very ineffective as no single ball was crossed into the area for the strikers to head.
Uganda’s last and final chance came deep in the dying minutes when they were offered a daring free kick close to the edge of the Egyptian penalty area but Farouk Miya chose to pass to Godfrey Walusimbi who lost it to the Egyptians and they held onto it till the final whistle.
Egypt return to the summit with 9 points followed by Uganda in 2nd on 7 points Ghana resurrected their chances by beating Congo 5-1 and they are now on 5 points, last Congo who are put of contention with only 1 point.
Line ups Uganda :
Denis Onyango, Nico Wadada, walusimbi, Isaac Isinde inde, Jjuuko Murushid, Wasswa Hassan, Emma Okwi (Geoffrey Sserunkuma 68′), Aucho, Derrick Nsibambi,(Milton Karisa 89′) Miya Farouk, Joseph Ochaya ( Kizito Luwagga 46)
Egypt’s starting XI:
Essam El-Hadary, Ahmed Fathi, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said ( Saleh Gorma, Ramadan Sobhi (Trezegiet 70′) Mohamed Salah, Amr Gamal (AhmedHassan Koka)