Uganda deny Zimbabwe Afcon victory

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By KickOff

Zimbabwe’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations suffered a knock after they shared the spoils with Uganda.

The Cranes made only one change from their opening victory over Democratic Republic Of Congo, with Ronald Mukiibi slotting in at centre-back, while the Warriors, made four changes that included goalkeeper George Chigova who replaced Edmore Sibanda, who was impressive in the loss to Egypt.

Sebastien Desabre’s charges made a bright start as Emmanuel Okwi gave Uganda the lead in the 12th minute with a low strike at close range after the Zimbabwe defence could not deal with a cross from the right wing.

The Warriors’ first real opening chance arrived ten minutes later through Knowledge Musona, who blasted his strike over the bar free inside the box following a cut-back from Billiat. However, the Warriors restored parity five minutes from the break when Billiat turned home Ovidy Karuru’s cross to ensure the sides went the dressing room level pegging.

The second stanza started at high intensity and the Warriors should have been 2-1 up six minutes inside the second half after Karuru handed Musona a clear goal-scoring opportunity with a square ball from the right, but the former Kaizer Chiefs striker struck the underside of the crossbar with the net gaping.

Chidzambwa tweaked his shape with a double substitution in the 64th minute as he brought on striker Evans Rusike and Marsall Munetsi for Talent Chawapiwa Thabani Kamusoko. Rusike almost made an immediate impact for Zimbabwe four minutes later as his close range tap-in was thwarted by Onyango

With 15 minutes remaining Patrick Kaddu should have given Uganda the lead after blazing horribly over the crossbar with the net gaping, which certainly took the heat off Musona for his big miss earlier in the half.

In the end, neither side could find a winning goal as the spoils were shared on the night, with Uganda moving on to four points.