Faruku Miya provided a brace of assists as Uganda stunned pre-match favourites the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in their Group A opening match at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.
Miya’s set pieces fell on the heads of Patrick Kaddu and Emmanuel Okwi in either half as the Cranes got off to a flier. The Congolese were not in their usual element and paid the ultimate price for their slow start to the competition in a tough pool that also has hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe.
Goalkeeper Denis Onyango ensured the Cranes went into the break with a goal up, thanks to a brilliant full stretched fingertip save to deny Cedric Bakambu’s curling effort which was headed to the bottom left corner of Uganda’s goal just three minutes to the break.
The Cranes were clearly the better side in the opening half, dominating against the Congolese who seemed to have slowed down on their usual flair and fast-paced game.
Kaddu whose goal ensured Uganda earned a place at the Africa Cup of Nations scored the opener, sneaking in at the near post to glance home a well-curled corner from Faruku Miya 14 minutes into the game.
Three minutes after the break Miya was once again the provider when he sent a curling cross that found Emanuel Okwi’s header that eluded DR Congo goalkeeper Lei Matampi to double The Cranes lead.
Uganda topped Group A with three points on goal difference from hosts Egypt. Zimbabwe and DR Congo follow in that order, pointless.