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Uganda’s Hippos are 2nd best at AFCON 2021

Daniel Afriyie Barnieh single handedly destroyed Hippos chances in the final. PHOTO CAF ONLINE

AFCON U20 FINAL 2021
Uganda 🇺🇬 0  Ghana 🇬🇭 2

BEST XI 2021
🇬🇭 Danlad Ibrahim
🇨🇫 Flory Yangao
🇨🇲 Blondon Meyapya
🇬🇲 Jawra Lamin
🇺🇬 Aziz Kayondo
🇲🇦 El Mehdi El Moubarik
🇬🇲 Lamarana Jallow
🇹🇳 Chibeb Labidi
🇬🇭 Abdul Fatawu I.
🇺🇬 Kakooza Derrick
🇧🇫 Joffrey Bazie

Weight of history too heavy for Uganda’s Hippos

Nouakchott, Mauritania | CAF ONLINE & THE INDEPENDENT | On the day that their country was celebrating the 64th Independence Day, Ghana’s Black Satellites delivered the ultimate gift, wrapped up in the form of the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title after a 2-0 win over debutants Uganda in the final in Nouakchott on Saturday.

Skipper Daniel Afriyie Barnieh led from the front, and had a military salute dance to celebrate on each occasion, as Ghana clinched their fourth Under-20 continental title, and a first since their last conquest in 2009.

The Black Satellites replicated the same score-line the two countries posted when they last met in a continental final, this being in the 1978 senior Cup of Nations. By design or coincidence, it was also another Afriyie, this time Opoku, who scored twice for the senior Ghanaians against Phillip Omondi’s Uganda Cranes.

Hippos jittery in set pieces

The Ugandan juniors at Nouakchott Saturday were jittery in defending set pieces and the Ghana side constantly sought out corners but couldn’t stretch the lead further. Fatawu tried to open up the deadlock with a well taken freekick from distance, but Jack Komakech had it covered.

The Ugandans ultimately faltered on a setpiece, Afriyie sneaking in at the near post to flick in a header off Fatawu’s corner.

It was just the goal they needed as they played with more confidence and Uganda looked stunned as they panicked on the ball and for some moments, forgot their ball playing nature.

Ghana took the opportunity to pin them on their backs and they had another go at goal in the 31st minute but Patrick Mensah’s low shot from 20 yards out was well saved by the keeper.

Ghana leading at halftime

Ghana went to the break a goal to the good, and deservedly so after coming off an early scare to score through Afriyie. Uganda were faster off the blocks and should have scored after three minutes when a long ball caught the run of Derrick Kakooza, but his lob over the keeper went over.

Almost immediately, Uganda had another chance with Isma Muguusi’s grass cutter going wide.

But after dodging the bullet twice, the Ghanaians woke from their slumber.

They had the bar denying them twice in succession off an Abdul Fatawu Issahaku corner. First, Percious Boah’s connection came off the bar and from the rebound, Nathaniel Adjei also sent a shot across the bar.

The Black Satellites needed just five minutes into the second half to dent any Ugandan hopes of a comeback, Afriyie completing his brace.

Sserwada dispossessed

Fatawu pinched the ball off Steven Sserwadda in midfield before playing Boah out wide, the striker cutting back a cross into the box which his captain delightfully tapped into an empty net.

Four minutes on the turn, Sserwadda had an opportunity to atone for his error when Mugulusi’s cross from the right found him unmarked inside the box, but he hooked his header over the bar.

Uganda Hippos coach Morley Byekwaso went for a change in formation, Ivan Bogere and Samuel Senyonjo coming on for the off color Richard Basangwa and Ivan Asaba. With the change, Senyonjo joined Kakooza upfront for a twin-striking option.

Bogere was lively after coming on and he should have had a goal to his name in the 70th minute when the ball graciously landed on him inside the box, but his shot on the turn was too week, keeper Danlad Ibrahim collecting with ease.

Uganda kept the hunt for the two goals, but couldn’t crack to score with Ghana seeing out the result for a jubilant end to a happy Independence Day.

The starting XI of the Hippos

Uganda’s Hippos are the first East African team to contest the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final. No East African youth team has won the AFCON U20 Tournament before, let alone reach the final.

Like Phillip Omondi’s Uganda Cranes did in the senior AFCON version in 1978 when they eventually faced Ghana, the Uganda’s Under-20 team the Hippos have also surprised many, and walked past potential giants to reach the final.

Consolation awards

Uganda’s striker Kakooza (5 goals) got the award for top the top scorer of the tournament  while the team also scoped the Fair Play award.

Uganda also had the highest number of players in the tournament XI named after the final. Uganda’s head coach Morley Byekwaso was voted best coach of the tournament, with Aziz Kayondo and Derrick Kakooza picked in the best 11 of the tournament.

*****

HIPPOS Road to the Final

Group A 

Uganda 2-0 Mozambique

Cameroon 0-1 Uganda

Mauritania 1-2 Uganda

Quarterfinals

Uganda 0(5)-0(3) Burkina Faso.

Semifinals

Uganda 4-1 Tunisia

Edition Year Host nation Final Third Place Match
Champion Score Second Place Third Place Score Fourth Place
14 2003
Details
 Burkina Faso
Egypt
4 – 3
Ivory Coast

Mali
1 – 1
(5 – 4)
on penalties

Burkina Faso
15 2005
Details
 Benin
Nigeria
2 – 0
Egypt

Benin
1 – 1
(5 – 3)
on penalties

Morocco
16 2007
Details
 Republic of the Congo
Congo
1 – 0
Nigeria

Gambia
3 – 1
Zambia
17 2009
Details
 Rwanda
Ghana
2 – 0
Cameroon

Nigeria
2 – 1
South Africa
18 2011
Details
 South Africa
Nigeria
3 – 2
aet

Cameroon

Egypt
1 – 0
Mali
19 2013
Details
 Algeria
Egypt
1 – 1
(5 – 4)
on penalties

Ghana

Nigeria
2 – 1
Mali
20 2015
Details
 Senegal
Nigeria
1 – 0
Senegal

Ghana
3 – 1
Mali

Edition Year Host nation Final Third Place Match
Champion Score Second Place Third Place Score Fourth Place
21 2017
Details
 Zambia
Zambia
2 – 0
Senegal

Guinea
2 – 1
South Africa
22 2019
Details
 Niger
Mali
1 – 1
(3 – 2)
on penalties

Senegal

South Africa
0 – 0
(5 – 3)
on penalties

Nigeria
23 2021
Details
 Mauritania
Ghana
2-0
Uganda

Gambia
0 – 0
(4 – 2)
on penalties

Tunisia

******

ADDITIONIAL SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA & FUFA.CO.UG

 

One comment

  1. basing on the tournament Uganda hippos per formed really very well.

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