By Denis Turyahebwa
The Uganda Hippos made history after progressing through to the Semi-finals of the ongoing AFCON U-20 Championships in Mauritania beating the West African side Burkina Faso on 5-3 on penalty shootouts on Thursday night.
The standard ninety minutes ended in a goalless stalemate and both sides still failed to find a net in the extra time forcing the shootouts to decide the winner.
This was a historical moment for the Hippos being the first time into the competition and also a phenomenal display exhibited by Morley Byekwaso’s boys.
Uganda converted all the five penalty spots and waited for the heroic save from one of the very outstanding goalkeepers Jack Komakech to lift the Hippos into the Semi-finals. Indeed he did not disappoint saving Yacouba’s spot to send Uganda into celebrations.
Derrick Kakooza fearlessly took the first spot-kick for the Hippos and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Najib Yiga, and Ivan Bogere followed in that order before defender Kenneth Ssemakula took the decisive penalty.
Uganda will now play against the winner between Morroco and Tunisia in the Semi-finals with Coach Morley Byekwaso confident that the Hippos will reach the finals with God’s help.
In other games played, Ghana beat Cameroon who were the group leaders in Uganda’s group A to reach the Semi-finals. The black satellites also won on penalties 4-2 to reach the semis.