2018 World Cup Qualifying - CAF, Round Three
  • Emmanuel Okwi (51')

Uganda stun Egypt in World Cup qualifier to take top spot in Group E

Farouk Miya of Uganda Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Emmanuel Okwi scored the only goal of the game as Uganda stunned Egypt 1-0 in Namboole to transform their World Cup qualifying prospects and hand the Pharaohs a significant blow on the road to Russia.

Okwi, who was a regular torment for veteran Egyptian defender Mohamed Abdel Shafy, struck the winner in the 51st minute when he was picked out by Murushid Juuko, evaded the challenges of the Pharaohs' backline and slammed home past Essam El-Hadary.

Egypt sought to battle back through Liverpool's in-form frontman Mohamed Salah who went close just after the hour mark when he forced a superb stop from Cranes skipper Denis Onyango despite his header appearing destined for goal.

The match was Uganda's first following the departure of coach Micho Sredojevic, but the Cranes hadn't lost any of the tenacity and physicality that the Serbian had introduced to the side, with Hassan Wasswa booked inside the first five minutes for a foul.

The poor surface at the Mandela National Stadium doubtless had an impact on Egypt's attacking play, while the North Africans also suffered a setback midway through the first half when iconic goalkeeper El-Hadary sustained a knee injury that troubled him throughout.

The Pharaohs stopper did pull off a fine stop from a Farouk Miya volley early in the second half, but Onyango was arguably the game's outstanding individual, denying Saleh Gomaa late on with an excellent save.

Uganda's victory takes them above Egypt into top spot in Group E on seven points ahead of the two sides' return match in Alexandria on Tuesday.

It also comes as a boost for Ghana ahead of their showdown with Congo in Kumasi on Friday, with the Black Stars able to close the gap to Egypt to two points if they down the Diables Rouges.