Uganda will travel to West Africa for their last FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Senegal later this year with significant chances of progressing to the next round of the global soccer showpiece.

The Cranes needed two late goals to defeat Angola 2-1 and restore their home pride in front of a packed Namboole Stadium on Saturday.

It was a sombre moment for Ugandans in the 42000-seater stadium as the clock ticked to end of the 90 minutes just before a sheer rejuvenation from striker Emma Okwi and a late header from Tonny Mawejje sunk Angola.

Angola took the lead 11 minutes into the second period with a goal from Ricardo Estevau. 

The player’s right foot shot beat Ugandan custodian Robert Odongkara far wide on his left and Uganda’s eight-year unbeaten home record seemed a breakable one.

But Uganda kept searching for the answers. After missing close to eight chances prior to recess, Uganda found a healing that broke the Palancas Negras.

Emmanuel Okwi, who had been ruled out of this match received a pass from Hassan Wasswa. The Tunisian-based forward paced to beat a defender on the right wing and shot from far with right orange boot that beat Angolan keeper Hugo Marquez who was off his line to find the back of the net. 

Then, it was seven minutes left on Moroccan referee Rédouane Jiyed’s watch. The sound of the vuvuzelas was duly amplified, chants and screams followed in a black, yellow and red crowd. The few Angola fans had been suffocated.

Uganda’s quest for a winner immediately began as they passed with neatness and fluency before Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza, who came for Moses Oloya, was founded at the edge of the Angola box by Fabkicio Mafuta. Being last man, Mafuta saw red and Angola were down to ten.

There wasn’t much from the resulting freekick but Cranes revamped again and it was Mawejje who headed in down near post from Okwi’s effort in the 89 minute.

The Cranes held on for the five added minutes before celebrations began. Players fell to the ground in disbelief of what had happened. Uganda’s head coach Milutin Sredojevic carried by assistants Fred Kajoba and Kefa Kisala after a pulsating tie. 

The result showed how hard it is call a road to the World Cup a cakewalk affair.         

FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

FULL TIME RESULT: Uganda 2-1 Angola, Namboole, Kampala 

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