Mali fight back to hold Uganda

Mali fight back to hold Uganda
19 January 2016 05:50

Mali came from behind twice to hold Uganda to a 2-2 draw in their Group D match on Tuesday in Rubavu.

The Cranes led 2-1 at half time before substitute Mamadou Coulibaly squared Hamidou Sinayoko to score the equalizer early in the second half.

Left back Joseph Ochaya headed Uganda into the lead after 12 minutes before Sekou Koita restored parity on 23 minutes. Captain Faruku Miya put the Cranes back in the lead five minutes before the break from the spot after Erisa Ssekisambu was fouled in the vital area.

Both teams ended the game with a point each but it was Uganda who finished the game with so much to worry about after captain Miya and first choice goalie Isima Watenga sustained injuries that prevented them from seeing the whole duration of the game.

The fast tempo game kicked off with Uganda dictating the pace and Kampala City Council defender Ochaya’s back flick header from a Miya free-kick beat Mali goalkeeper Djigui Diarra for the opener.

‘Les Aigles’ responded positively and Koita drew level with a spectacular shot from a Moussa Sissoko pass at the edge of the penalty area.

Five minutes before half time, Uganda were rewarded a penalty after Ssekisambu was fouled in the box. Miya elected himself for the shot from the distance and sent Diarra the wrong direction.

Uganda were dealt a major blow as captain Miya could not return for the second half and goalkeeper Watenga was also pulled out for Mathias Kigonya after an injury minutes later.

The turning point for Mali was the introduction of Coulibaly and few minutes later he masterminded the equalizer, laying to Sinayoko who tapped into the yawning net.

Mali then took charge of the game with Yves Bissouma and Koita leading raids upfront, resulting in several nightmares for the Uganda rear.

The Cranes survived a late scare from the West Africans as goalkeeper Kigonya came off his line to deny Sinayoko on a one-on-one situation.

Zambia leads the pack with three points with Mali and Uganda in that order with a point each. Zimbabwe remains at the bottom pointless.

Orange Man of the Match
Sekou Koita (Mali)


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