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AFCON U20: Ghanaian name ‘Afriyie’ returns to haunt Uganda after 43 years

By Brian Aheebwa
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh (M) celebrates one of his goals against the Uganda Hippos at the AFCON U20 final | Courtesy photo

In 1978, the Uganda Cranes played at their first Africa Cup of Nations final in Ghana, and 43 years later, the Uganda Hippos also reached their first U20 AFCON final at the just concluded youth AFCON in Mauritania.

There is a lot in common to write about 1978 and 2021 as far as the Uganda Cranes and Hippos are concerned.

Both teams played in their first final against the same opponent, the legendary 1978 team coached by Peter Okee and led by legends like Jimmy Kirunda (RIP), Phillip Omondi and Tom Lwanga fell to Ghana 2-0.

A little over four decades later, their ‘grandchildren under Morley Byekwaso also suffered a similar setback losing to Ghana U20 2-0.

Opoku Afriyie Bayie scored both goals for the 1978 AFCON hosts as the Black stars shattered the Cranes dream of winning the AFCON title in Accra.

Coincidentally, the same Ghanian name ‘Afriyie’ returned to haunt Uganda but this time around at the youth level.

Daniel Afriyie Barnieh also scored twice for the Black Satellites to win their fourth AFCON trophy. Coincidence?

Different submissions in Ghana indicate that the name ‘Afriyie’ means ‘Born during good times’ and surely Saturday, March 6, 2021 was a good time in Ghana as they also celebrated their 64th Independence Day.

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