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AFCON 2019: Uganda Reach Round of 16 Despite Loss to Egypt

Uganda have advanced to the last 16 at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations despite losing 2-0 to hosts Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night.

DR Congo 4-0 win over Zimbabwe ensured Sebastien Desabre’s men finish second in Group A with four points. The Leopards may also join the two sides in the next round as one of the best third finishers.

Mohammed Salah scored the opening goal on 36th minute with a dripping free kick with Aston Villa defender Ahmed El Mohamady doublling the Pharaohs’ lead in first-half stoppage time.

The opening 25 minutes failed to produce a goal with Egypt seeing most of the ball but neither goalkeeper unduly tested.

Egypt started to assert their presence just past the half-hour mark as Mohamed El Neny had a glorious chance for Pharaohs in the 27th minute after he latched onto a loose ball at the near post, but he struck his effort glaringly over the bar from around six-yards out.

Ahmed Hassan then had two chances within a few seconds to score after he was fed on the right by Mohamed Salah. After missing his first kick, the ball fell kindly again but he could not bundle the ball past Dennis Onyango.

A minute later Salah grabbed the lead with a curling 25-yard free-kick that dipped over the wall and beat Denis Onyango, despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to it.

The Pharaohs were in full control from that moment and they extended their lead at the stroke of halftime when Ayman Ashraf’s cross from the left evaded Salah but found El Mohamady, who scored with an angled drive.

Uganda showed a sense of urgency to come back in the game early in the second stanza and Abdu Lumala almost pulled a goal back ten minutes inside the second half with a volley at the far post but his effort missed wide, while Emmanuel Okwi was denied by Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy moments later.

Cranes were forced to make a change on goalkeeper as Deniss Onyango was stretchered off with 20 minutes left after suffering an injury and was replaced by Al Hilal goalkeeper Robert Ondongkara.

Egypt had a rare chance with 15 minutes remaining as Mohamed Salal scuffed his shot from six-yards, allowing the newly introduced Ondongkara to make a good low save.

Okwi had another opportunity for the East Africans on 80th minute after weaving his way on the right side of the box, but once again El Shenawy was on hand to deny the Cranes attacker in the box.

Egypt were able to see out the closing stages with relative ease to clinch a 2-0 victory that takes them to a top finish of Group A while Uganda remain on second place, with both team making it to the knockout stages of the competition.

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