Afcon: Warriors held, chances of progressing in limbo

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By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe’s chances of progressing to the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals for the first time were dealt a body blow Wednesday after Uganda doggedly held out for a draw.

The result leaves Zimbabwe’s Warriors who lost in the tournament opener to hosts Egypt praying for a loss for group A surprise strugglers DR Congo who face the Pharaohs late Wednesday.

In a match that was played at a blistering pace, Uganda took the lead against the run of play when Warriors first choice goalkeeper George Chigova who was making a return after sitting out the first match due to suspension parried the ball onto the feet of Ugandan striker Owki who tapped it in, with only 12 minutes gone.

Zimbabwe then took charge of the match and dominated. However, Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges did everything but score until a flowing move that freed midfielder Ovidy Karuru on the left flank resulted in a brilliant cut in that was swept home by star winger Khama Billiat just before halftime.

Billiat, who terrorised Uganda in the first half seemed to have fizzled out in the second tanza and with him went Zimbabwe’s chances. Skipper Knowledge Musona missed a glaring chance after another flowing move. His attempt to side foot the ball home only lifted it up onto the crossbar.

Substitute Evans Rusike had a chance to win it for Zimbabwe but his shot at goal was blocked by Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango who spilled into before picking it up from the goal-line.

Zimbabwe plays the DRC in its final group match hoping the Congolese would have nothing to play for.