August 31, 2017 / 3:55 PM / 20 days ago

Uganda top of World Cup group after upsetting Egypt

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Emmanuel Okwi scored early in the second half to hand Uganda a surprise 1-0 World Cup win over Egypt in Kampala on Thursday and put themselves top of their group standings at the halfway stage of the qualifiers for Russia.

Uganda moved to seven points after three matches in Africa’s Group E, ending Egypt’s 100 percent record as they upset the odds in a dominant home performance that provided them their first win over Egypt in more than a half century.

Okwi took advantage of the Egyptian defence, notably new West Bromwich Albion signing Ahmed Hegazi, backing off as he jinxed his way into the penalty area and hammered the ball home in the 51st minute.

The goal came soon after Egypt’s 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary had made the second of two close-range stops to deny the home country, who have never previously played at the World Cup finals.

Egypt’s closest moment came when Mohamed Salah’s header was parried away by Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango just after the hour mark.

Egypt, second in the group with six points, can regain top place in the standings if they beat Uganda in the reverse fixture in Alexandria on Tuesday.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Neville Dalton

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