By Denis Turyahebwa
The Uganda Hippos had a brilliant debut in AFCON U-20 tournament with a 2-0 win against Mozambique during a group A match played at the Stade Olympique, Nouakchott City, Mauritania on Monday, 15th February 2021.
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The Uganda Police FC Striker Derrick Kakooza broke the deadlock with a penalty kick after a handball by the opponents before second-half substitute Steven Sserwadda scored the two priceless goals for Uganda.
Kakooza then setup KCCA midfielder Sserwadda after a well-delivered cross from the left by Najib Yiga in the 85th minute. Yiga was stretchered out moments later to pave way for Ivan Eyamu.
Isma Mugulusi was subbed off for Joseph Kizza Bukenya in Uganda’s other late change. Meanwhile, the first 45 minutes had ended in a goalless stalemate with some threatening attacks from both sides about yielding nothing.
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Richard Basangwa, Yiga, Isma Mugulusi, Ivan Bogere, and the goal hero Kakooza troubled the Mozambique backline as skipper Celton led the attacks for the Southern African nation.
Uganda’s backline led by captain Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula and left-back Abdul Azizi Kakooza remained watertight at all times. lsma Mugulusi was named man of the match.
Uganda Hippos returns to action on Wednesday this week, against Cameroon and elsewhere the official opening match of the tournament witnessed the hosts Mauritania lose 1-0 to Cameroon.
Therefore Uganda now leads the group with three points and two goals followed by Cameroon on the same points with a goalless.
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The CECAFA U-20 Champions are expected to put up more competitive display against a well organized and strong Cameroon on Wednesday as they look up to sealing themselves on the top of the group before facing the hosts.
Uganda Hippos XI Vs Mozambique: Jack Komakech (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Najib Yiga, Isma Mugulusi, Richard Basangwa, Ivan Bogere, Derrick Kakooza.
Substitutes: Denis Ssenyondwa Kaala, Delton Oyo, Joseph Kafumbe, James Penz Begisa, Simon Baligeya, Ivan Eyamu, Andrew Kawooya, Ivan Asaba, Steven Sserwadda, Davis Ssekajja, Faisal Wabyoona, Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Alpha Thierry Ssali, Samuel Ssenyonjo.