Host Egypt made it three wins out of three on Sunday night by overcoming Uganda’s Cranes 2-0 at the Cairo International Stadium.
First-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Elmohamady did for the Pharaohs, who were under pressure for large periods of the game from their dogged opponents.
Uganda started on the front foot and were first to threaten, with Allan Kyambadde’s swerving effort turned over the bar by Mohamed El-Shenawy. The Egyptian goalkeeper was again the barrier, producing a fine double save to deny Abdu Lumala just after the half-hour mark after a fine run down the left from the Syrianska forward.
Against the run of play, however, Egypt would snatch the lead two minutes later. Star forward Salah won a foul in a promising area, and then stepped up to bend a free-kick past the futile dive of Denis Onyango.
Javier Aguirre’s men doubled their lead right on the stroke of half-time. Ayman Ashraf’s low cross zipped all the way to the far post, and Elmohamady came steaming in to plant a firm finish into the bottom corner.
It could have been three six minutes after the restart as Salah was on the end of a fine through ball, but his finish was foiled by the outstretched hand of the advancing Onyango.
Uganda would have the better of the chances from then on, with Farouk Miya twice going close: first seeing his effort from close range deflected over the bar, and then curling a free-kick onto the roof of the net. Khalid Aucho fired across the face of goal when the ball broke to him at the far post, and Emmanuel Okwi seized on a mistake by Ahmed Hegazy, but could not get his finish on target.
The result sees Egypt advance as group winners, with Uganda claiming second spot in Group A.