By: Edwin Kyle Kule
Uganda Hippos suffered a 1-0 loss to African giants Cameroon in their second game at the 2021 U20 African Cup of Nation Group A tie played at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Wednesday afternoon.
Junior Sunday’s header in the first half was enough to secure maximum points for Cameroon who remain the only unbeaten side in Group A.
Head coach Morley Byekwaso maintained his starting eleven that grabbed a 2-0 win against Mozambique in their first game of the tournament and they did give themselves a good account of themselves.
In the 32nd minute Junior Juag Sunday scored a diving header off a powerful corner kick from the left flank, it did hit skipper Gavin Kizito before crossing the line.
On the return of the second stanza, Hippos’ forward Ivan Bogere paved way for Ivan Asaba, Steven Serwadda replaced Najib Yiga who seemed to have lost foot in the field of play.
Sunday continued to cause a lot of danger on the right flank asking Kizito questions he didn’t have answers to.
In search of an equaliser, Uganda made its third substitution, bringing on Samuel Ssenyonjo for Derrick Kakooza.
Asaba brought life in the middle of the park, often peeling away through a forest of legs but Cameroon’s midfielder Saidou Aliom kept a close eye on him.
Twenty minutes to play Uganda found a golden chance to level matters as Ssenyonjo passed through Cameroon’s defence to find Asaba who was unmarked but his effort was parried above the crossbar.
Fourteen minutes to play, Ivan Eyam together with Joseph Kizza Bukenya replaced Isma Mugulusi and Richard Basangwa respectively but Cameroon held on for all three points.
The result meant Cameroon is the first team in the youthful tournament to qualify for the quarter-finals after securing a second win.
Uganda drop to second in Group A as Cameroon ascend to the summit. Morley Byekwaso’s charges will play their last group game against Mauritania on February 20, 2021.
How they lined up
Cameroon XI: Junior Hecube (Gk), Blondon Meyapya, Saidou Ibrahim, Fidel Ambina, Saidou Alioum, Stephan Ikpeme, Bemol Apam, Yong Nchindo, Junior Sunday, Bryan Djile, Goni Ali
Uganda XI: Jack Komakech (Gk), Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Aziz Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Najib Yiga, Isma Mugulusi, Derrick Kakooza, Ivan Bogere, Richard Basangwa