Ghana and Uganda played out a dour goalless draw in Kampala on Saturday which dents the pair's hopes of World Cup qualification and leaves Egypt within one win of a place in Russia next year.
The stalemate took Uganda to eight points, one behind Egypt who play their game in hand against already eliminated Congo-Brazzaville in Alexandria on Sunday knowing that a victory would end their 27-year wait for a place at the World Cup.
Ghana, in third on six points, need Egypt to lose against Congo, Uganda to fail to beat the Red Devils next month, and to beat the Pharaohs in their final qualifier to reach a fourth consecutive World Cup.
Both Ghana and Uganda had opportunities to claim all three points, particularly during a second half that grew more frantic as the duo saw their prospects of qualification fade.
Derrick Nsibambi missed the best opening at the start of the second half when he headed wide from four yards after meeting a brilliant cross.
It was a lucky escape for Ghana, but the Black Stars had their own hard luck story too, as Daniel Bennett ruled out Daniel Amartey's first-half header for offside, before denying Ghana twice in the second half.
He booked Frank Acheampong for diving when replays showed that he had indeed been fouled in the box, and with the last kick off the game, Ghana thought they had scored the winner when Dennis Onyango failed to hold unto Ebenezer Ofori's long-range shot, allowing Raphael Dwamena to tap in from close range.
Bennett and his assistants ruled that Dwamena had been offside, denying Ghana an equaliser, although replays appeared to show that he was level with the last defender.
While there were no winners in Kampala, Egypt were the major beneficiaries from these two cancelling each other out, as they find themselves on the brink of a first World Cup qualification since 1990.