By Andrew Mwanguhya
Substitute Saidi Kyeyune scored from 40-yards but Uganda Cranes lost 2-1 to tournament debutantes Togo to move to the brink of another familiar early exit from the ongoing Africa Nations Championship (Chan) n Cameroon.
In what was perhaps the best game of a low-scoring tournament, an uneventful first half was replaced by an attritional second that served two contenders for goal of the tournament at Stade de la Reunification in Douala.
Coach Jonny McKinstry, desperate for an improvement from the opening goalless draw against neighbours Rwanda, was at pains as defender Paul Mbowa meekly diverted a header past goalkeeper Charles Lukwago.
Cranes weren't deflated by that 48th minute own goal though. The response was emphatic. Kyeyune, on for veteran Tony Mawejje, at the break lit up the tournament on 51 minutes.
This was one of the best goals of his career as he picked the ball from midfield partner Shafiq Kagimu, advanced towards the final third, set himself up and thrashed the ball past the Togolese custodian for 1-1. The ball kissed the crossbar and bounced over the line.
Little did Kyeyune, who made his Chan debut in 2014, know that he would be almost outdone not long after.
Richard Yendoutie Nane restored Togo's lead, picking a ball over his shoulder and hitting it on the volley seven minutes later just inside the box on the left side. Like Kyeyune's, it hit the underside of the bar ferociously with Lukwago beaten.
The latter had earlier been caught in no-man's land only for Mbowa to clear off line in the first half. As Cranes pressed for the equalizer and switched to a back three, Lukwago was needed to keep the goal difference manageable even as Cranes are bottom of group C with one point from two games.
Morocco lead the group with four points while Togo are on three and Rwanda two. Uganda must beat Morocco in the final group game to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time in five attempts.
CHAN - GROUP C
Morocco 0-0 Rwanda
Uganda 1-2 Togo
Morocco 4pts +1
Togo 3pts +0
Rwanda 2pts +0
Uganda 1pt. -1