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Uganda park the bus on their way to another scoreless draw against Mali at home

St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende played host to Uganda’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying second round home opener on Monday with the Cranes drawing Mali 0-0, keeping Les Aigles at the top of Group E with four points after two games. Uganda pull even with neighbors Kenya on two points, with both teams have two draws while Rwanda sits last with one point.

Uganda carried on with the defensive tactics showcased in their opening match against Kenya which also ended scoreless. Manager Micho Sredojevic made two changes to his lineup by bringing in Chippa United goalkeeper Ismail Watenga and Egyptian based forward Derrick Nsibambi, but the game plan remained the same at home as on the road in Nairobi. Mali were forced to break down a sea of red jerseys to find their goal, and the visitors struggled to find a way through.

Set pieces were the closest both teams came to breaking the deadlock. A 28th minute corner kick for Mali found Diadie Samassekou charging towards the mouth of the Ugandan goal, but the Hoffenheim midfielder could disappointingly only direct his header over the bar after beating Watenga to the aerial ball.

In the 61st minute, playmaker Adama Traoré sent a direct free kick effort narrowly over the bar after having just come on as a substitute. A few minutes later an incident near the corner flag saw Uganda defender Murushid Jjuko given a straight red card for an apparent stamp on a Malian player, reducing the Cranes to ten players with about thirty minutes to play. This resulted in Uganda putting all players in their own end and forming an impenetrable wall that dared Mali to break them down. Les Aigles failed to create much of substance going forward and both teams were forced to be content with the draw.

Highlights of the match are below.

FIFA TV Highlights

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