13 November 2015

Uganda/Togo: Ochaya Gives Uganda Historic World Cup Win By David Legge

Photo: CAF
Uganda's Cranes celebrating

Uganda celebrated Thursday a first away victory in a World Cup qualifier after defeating Togo 1-0 in Lome through a first-half Joseph Ochaya goal. The defender scored at Stade Kegue with a glancing header off a Farouk Miya free-kick five minutes before half-time in the first leg of a second-round tie.

Uganda played 17 previous away qualifiers since debuting against Zambia in 1977, losing 15 and drawing two.

Outstanding Denis Onyango saved a second-half penalty from France-born Mathieu Dossevi to deprive the home team of an equaliser.

By keeping a clean sheet, the South Africa-based goalkeeper ensured Uganda did not concede a goal in an away World Cup qualifier for only the second time. Uganda could have won more convincingly in the west African city as Miya was foiled by the woodwork and Brian Umony and Caesar Okhuti wasted good chances.

Lacklustre Togo sorely missed unavailable star striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who watched from the main stand wearing a scarf comprised of the national colours. The 31-year-old former African Footballer of the Year was released by Tottenham Hotspur two months ago after making only 13 Premier League appearances last season.

Yannick Bolasie, whose goal last weekend helped Crystal Palace inflict a first defeat on new Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, was on target again as the Democratic Republic of Congo triumphed 3-2 in Burundi.The winger put the visitors ahead after five minutes as torrential rain turned much of the Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore pitch in Bujumbura into mini-lakes.

A Cedric Amissi brace nudged the Burundians ahead before a couple of late goals from Qatar-based Firmin Ndombe Mubele swung the match back in favour of the Congolese. Morocco, whose last of four World Cup appearances was 17 years ago in France, overcame Equatorial Guinea 2-0 at Grand Stade d'Agadir in the southern coastal city.

Youssef El Arabi put the Atlas Lions ahead on the half hour and Yacine Bammou struck midway through the second half.

Babatounde Bello scored six minutes from time at Stade de l'Amitie in Cotonou to earn Benin a 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso in a west African showdown. Stephane Sessegnon from West Bromwich Albion converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time for the hosts only for Prejuce Nakoulma to equalise six minutes into the second half.

Guinea beat Southern Africa champions Namibia 1-0 at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek courtesy of a first-half Naby Keita goal. Return matches are scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday with the overall winners advancing to a five-group stage from which the winners qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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