Uganda and Zimbabwe wednesday played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo, Egypt.
Uganda took an early lead through Emmanuel Okwi’s close-range finish after Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova had parried Lumala Abdu’s shot.
But Zimbabwe equalised when Khama Billiat scored after fine work down the left wing from team-mate Ovidy Karuru.
Zimbabwe’s Knowledge Musona and Uganda’s Patrick Kaddu both missed glorious chances to get a winning goal.
Musona hit the crossbar when faced with an open goal from only four yards out and then, after Zimbabwe’s Evans Rusike had a shot saved on the goalline, Kaddu volleyed over from six yards with the goal empty.
Zimbabwe, who were aiming for only their third win at a Cup of Nations finals, now have to beat DR Congo in their final group match on Sunday to have a chance of making it out of the group phase for the first time.
Uganda top the group with four points from two games, but will be overtaken by Egypt if the hosts beat DR Congo later on Wednesday.
Nottingham Forest defender Tendayi Darikwa and Alec Mudimu, who plays for Welsh Premier League side Cefn Druids, were both in the Zimbabwe side, with Bevis Mugabi, released by Yeovil Town at the end of last season, among the Uganda starting line-up.
In Group B, Nigeria became the first team to qualify for the last 16 as they beat Guinea 1-0.