Some woeful finishing condemned Uganda to a disappointing start to CECAFA U23 Championship with a 0-0 draw against guests DR Congo in Group A on Sunday afternoon at the Bar Dar international Stadium, Ethiopia.
The Cranes dominated Congo when it comes to possession and chances, but Morley Byekwaso’s men forgot to bring their finishing boots and we’re left humbled by a defensively solid Congo side that was bolstered by a top performance from goalkeeper Efong Liyongo.
Morley Byekwaso pulled out a few surprises in the starting XI as Steven Mukwala and Derrick Kakooza started upfront. Julius Poloto slotted in on the width.
It was no surprise to see Uganda start on the front foot as they began to methodically try to pick apart the Congo defence. The first good chance fell to Bobosi Byaruhanga when his freekick attempt was parried away by Liyongo in the DR Congo goal.
Mukwala again missed a brilliant chance to put the Cranes ahead when he failed to connect well with Poloto’s delivery Midway the game.
Congo didn’t offer much when they got the chance to move forward as their best goal-scoring chance fell to Mpia Maxi Nzengeli but was denied by Uganda.
Both Uganda and DR Congo move to one point in group A that also has Tanzania.
Tanzania will play their first game on July 22 against DR Congo, before they verse Uganda next Sunday.
The best top teams in each of the groups will automatically qualify for the semi-finals, while the best runner up from any of the three groups also gets to the last four.
Uganda is attempting to defend the CECAFA title they win for a record 15th time in Kampala in 2019.