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Lots Decide Placing in Group B

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (February 27th 2023)

The drawing of lots was required to decide the positions at the top of Group B as Uganda and Congo (the Republic of) had identical records in every respect – points, goal difference and goals scored and conceded. Uganda won the draw to top the group after they concluded the group stage with a 0-0 draw against South Sudan yesterday. Congo was held 0-0 by the Central African Republic (CAR) who came closest to scoring –one effort hit the post.

Uganda opened their account with a 2-1 victory over CAR on February 20th in Ismaily  all the goals came in the second half. Isma Mugulusi opened the scoring after 47 minutes. John Paul Dembe doubled their lead with just over 15 minutes of normal time remaining. After five minutes of added time, Boris Gbenou pulled one back for CAR. Meanwhile, Congo defeated South Sudan by the same score. Déogracias Bassinga put Congo in the lead after 45 minutes. Prince Aldy Sousou Ilendo doubled their lead from the penalty spot after 63 minutes. Twenty minutes Paul America Jawa Mara scored the young African football nation’s first goal of the competition.

On February 23rd Jawa Mara’s penalty after 2 minutes proved enough for South Sudan to take all three points against CAR. Uganda and Congo played out a 2-2 draw. An incident packed first half saw Congo take the lead after just 6 minutes through Josna Epifani Loulendo, but five minutes later Titus Ssematimba equalised for Uganda. After 33 minutes Uganda took the lead through Saidi Mayanja. Deep into added time at the end of the half, Claude Gisaurvel Ngonara received a red card.  

Uganda failed to exploit their advantages in the second half. Congo sought and found an equaliser after 72 minutes through Arnauvy Princide Mombouli to share the points and an advantage over South Sudan, which had to secure a better result than either Uganda or Congo in their final match. The third round of Group B matches both ended 0-0, meaning that South Sudan must wait tosee if they qualify for the knockout phase as one of the twobest losers, after securing 4 points.

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