10-man Uganda have salvaged a 0-0 draw against Mali in Group E’s 2022 World Cup Qualifier at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende on Monday.
The Cranes had to face the West African nation with fewer men after Murushid Juuko was shown a red card in the second half.
However, the dominant Mali side was unable to find a way past Uganda who defended with all their might.
Isaac Mulemwe, who kept his position despite the changes made to the squad, delivered a ninth-minute free-kick but Ibrahim Mounkoro, in the Mali goal, tipped the goal-bound ball over the bar.
Mounkoro, was alert in the 10th minute when he dived in the right direction and punched Joseph Ochaya’s pinpoint free-kick into a corner that the hosts failed to harvest anything from.
Mali’s most open chance came in the 28th minute when Juuko handled the ball just at the edge of the box, but Adama Traore was not able to find the back of the net with the resultant free-kick from a promising position.
Uganda’s Juuko was yellow-carded in the 34th minute as the visitors piled more pressure on the Cranes in the last moments of the first half.
Although the teams headed back for the half-time break with the score reading 0-0, Mali were dominant in the first half and attacked their rivals, while the Cranes were confident in sitting back and possessing the ball in their own half.
At the hour mark, Mali made a change as Mohamed Camara was withdrawn and substituted by Adama Noss Traore.
Uganda were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when Juuko, with a yellow card from the first half, was sent off after a foul on Ibrahima Kone.
In the 67th minute, Innocent Wafula replaced Emmanuel Okwi, while Mustafa Kizza came on for Ochaya as Uganda made their first changes. Another change was made in the 88th minute, with Ibrahim Orit replacing Milton Karisa.
This is Uganda’s second draw after registering the first one against Kenya on September 3, while Mali opened the qualifiers with a 1-0 win against Rwanda.