Uganda hold Ghana in hockey Africa Cup of  Nations

Goal getter. Timothy Ntumba in action against Ghana. PHOTO/MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

What you need to know:

Africa Cup of Nations

M: Ghana 1-1 Uganda 

40' Timothy Ntumba (penalty corner goal)

Timothy Ntumba converted a 40th minute penalty corner to help Uganda draw 1-1 with hosts Ghana in their pool A opener at the Africa Cup of Nations in Accra.

It was an end to end affair where Uganda have to credit their defence marshalled by the physically imposing Brian Okodi and the acrobatic custodian Bosco Ochan for keeping them in the game especially during penalty corners.

Okodi's intelligent tackling kept Ghana out of the D for so long that they did not get a penalty corner until the 23rd minute.

By then, Uganda had had two albeit not converted by Colline Batusa. When Ghana got another penalty corner in the 28th minute, their improvised push into the D after failing to drag it was tapped in for the opening goal.

Uganda's defence continued to stand out till Ntumba got his goal in the third quarter. His goal defined the character of the team as he had just come from serving his second green table at the table.

"I was starting to lose my cool maybe but my coaches Francesco Richichi and Vincent Kasasa believed in me and told me to stay on pitch. 

I am humbled to have got our first goal at this level after all those years (Uganda has not been to the Nations Cup since 2000) and happy to repay the faith of the coaches," Ntumba said. 

Ghana pushed hard to restore their lead but Uganda stayed resilient. At some point towards the end of the third quarter, Okodi and Solomon Mutalya took turns throwing their feet in the way of drags flicks.

"We expected to win the game but could not find the way through our short corners.

It is something we need to work on before the next game," Ghana coach ... said insisting that his side were not under any pressure going into tomorrow's encounter with Egypt.


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