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Africa Cup of Nations

Last-gasp defeat hard to accept for Uganda coach


Port-Gentil (Gabon) (AFP) – Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic admitted the way in which his side were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations with a last-gasp defeat to Egypt on Saturday was a crushing blow.

“We tried our best but unfortunately it was not enough,” said “Micho” after Abdallah El Said’s 89th-minute strike, from a Mohamed Salah assist, gave Egypt a 1-0 win in the Group D encounter in Port-Gentil.

“This level of competition demands total focus of concentration on details that decide games.

“We couldn’t keep that concentration up to the last moment — when we were supposed to close the game out we allowed a counterattack and the experience and quality of Salah made the difference.”

The result left Uganda bottom of the group without a point or a goal after a previous 1-0 loss to Ghana, and their first appearance at the Cup of Nations since 1978 will stop at the group stage.

“We have come after 39 years and paid for the lesson in a hard way. If you lose in a convincing way you accept it, but in this way it is very hard to accept.

“We came here to play three Cup finals — the first we lost on a penalty to Ghana and the second we lost in the last minute on the counterattack.”

Uganda will now only have pride to play for in their last game, against Mali on Wednesday.

“Now we need to pick up the pieces and look forward in order to see who will play the last game — it is hard to say who will play in the last game, we have certain injuries like (goalkeeper Denis) Onyango.

“We will see how we play the last match but the ambition remains that we want to go home with pride and with a win.”

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