By Angu Lesley
Football writer kick442.com-Cameroon
Uganda Cranes have been beaten by the local Hawks of Togo by 2-1 in an exciting group C match-day two gam played this Friday at the Bepanda Omnisport Stadium.
In the absence of coach Jean Pierre, the local scored twice through Abdou Samiou and Yendoutie Nani while Kagimu Shafik replied once for the Cranes in a game of three second-half goals.
Both sides hit the woodwork in the opening 10 minutes of the end-to-end encounter before settling for an exciting passage of play for both sides.
Muhammad Jagasun was a constant menace for the Togolese defense but lacked the venom to hurt the Togolese.
Messan Toudji picked the first booking of the game in the 24th minute of play when he brought down Ojera Joackiam millimeters out of the penalty area.
The resulting free-kick was wasted following a failed attempt of a training drill.
Uganda continued their dominance of the game forcing the Togolese in their half but not creating scare in the final-third.
The over 3000 fans in attendance of the night game made their presence felt from time to time when either Togo or Uganda put together a collection of good passage of play.
34 minutes into it, Uganda remained dominant displaying their class in moving the ball from defense to attack looking dangerous with every move in the final-third.
Sama picked up the second booking 34th minute following a foul on the edge of the box.
Kokouvi Amekoudi picked up an injury and was replaced by Akate Gnama in the 40th minute of the game.
Uganda slowed down the intensity of their attacking play though dominating possession.
Though with 55% of the possession Uganda wasn’t testing Abdoul Moubarak Aigba as all of their attempts were off target. Togo on their part were doing just the right things, keeping their defensive shape and by the 45th minute Togo had registered two attempts on target.
The two minutes of additional time in the first-half were used up by both sides in the midfield without any real chance till Burundian referee Georges Gatogato blasted the half-time whistle.
It was a fairly-balanced game at the break with the possession standing at 50% apiece at the break and both sides had registered five attempts each with all of that of the Ugandans being off target.
The booking count at the break stood at two for Togo and one for Uganda.
Four minutes upon resumption Abdou Samiou opened scores for Togo.
Kagimu Shafik unleashed a wicked drive from 30 meters out that hit the crossbar before going in to level scores for the Uganda cranes.
The beauty of the goal up the noise level increased in the stadium.
Ojera Joackiam was replaced by Ssekajugo Viane in the 57th minute and just before he could settle into the game, Yendoutie Nani restored the lead with a beauty from 40 meters out.
At 2-1 in favor of the hawks of Togo, Uganda had to score to keep their hopes of staying in the competition.
A well-taken corner in the 64th minute had a Ugandan contact in the box which nearly cross the goal line but the Referees whistled to indicate an infringement.
Yendoutie Nani break into the Ugandan box in the 70th minute and unleashed a fine effort which was pushed out for a Togolese corner.
The resulting corner was well defended by Tony Mawejje.
Togo kept their approach of breaking from the counter but on multiple occasions the incursions were stopped.
Another Ugandan fell to Saidi Kyeyune who attempted from outside the box in the 79th minute but his effort went narrowly-wide.
Minutes later another through ball fell on the fell on the feet of hardworking Muhammad Jagasun but he had lost balance before the ball got to him.
Goalkeeper Abdoul Moubarak was the busier of the two in the final five minutes of the game.
Togolese midfielder Ismaila Ouro was named man of the match for his efforts in his side’s hard-earned 2-1 win.
The game ended on 2-1 score for the Hawks of Togo.
Uganda face leaders Morocco in a decisive group C game in three days time while Togo face Rwanda. All four sides stand a chance of qualification for the knock-out stages of the competition with a victory.