Uganda Hippos were held to a 2-all draw by a ten-man Congo side in the top-of-the-table clash in Group B of the ongoing TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.
The two teams won their opening matches with identical 2-1 scoreline against the Central African Republic and South Sudan respectively at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismailia.
The stage was set for an exicting clash and it lived up to expectation right from the start of the speedy game.
Jackson Mayanja’s Hippos were punished after six minutes when Josna Loulendo powered home Prince Aldy Soussou Ilendo’s corner at the near post.
The Ugandans failed to pick up Loulendo’s run up to meet the cross from the left and the Association Sportive Etoile forward guided his pinpoint headed past the helpless Abu Magada to give Congo the lead against the run of play.
Uganda were guilty of missing a clearcut chance two minutes before Loulendo’s goal when Paul Dembe failed to dispatch Isma Mugulusi’s brilliant squared pass.
The CECAFA champions restore parity through Titus Ssematimba close range finish following a goalkeeping howler by Christophe Wamba. The young keeper failed to deal with Rogers Mugisha’s freekick allowing the midfielder to slot home the equaliser on 11 minutes.
The highly charged match presented opportunities for either side at the Suez Canal Stadium in the Egyptian city of Ismailia.
The Hippos put their noses in from just after the half hour mark through Saidi Mayanja close range finish from captain Isma Mugulusi’s perfectly timed layoff.
The Young Red Devils were reduced to ten men following the second booking of captain Claude Ngongara on first half stoppage time.
The second half saw both teams moving forward as they chased the next goal of the match under the bright floodlights at the Suez Canal Stadium. Uganda striker Paul Dembe missed two chances to put the match to bed.
The Red Devils leveled matters from another set piece this time Prince Mombouli heading past Magada. The Hippos were caught napping again allowing the defensive midfielder to snatch a point for Congo 18 minutes from time.
Both sides pushed in the closing stages to find the winner neither was able to score with Issa Bugembe coming close for Uganda while Soussou dragged a shot wide.