By: Edwin Kyle Kule
Uganda Hippos registered a 2-0 win against Mozambique U20 in their first game of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations played under the scorching sun at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott
Derrick Kakooza’s penalty kick and Steven Sserwadda’s effort in the second half gave the Hippos all the bragging rights as they claimed all points available and took their place at the summit of Group A.
The Hippos got their first chance in the 22nd minute through a freekick on the right ark of the box but Najib Yiga’s chilly effort failed to go beyond the wall.
Uganda missed another chance to own the driving sit after Mozambique’s custodian Simeone Emilio Lipanga made a clinical save to deny Ivan Bogere’s header off Gavin Kizito Mugweri’s long cross.
Uganda grew in confidence as the game went on though they lost the ball often in the middle of the park.
As the first half was loaming Richard Basangwa was denied by the woodwork as he tried to connect Isma Mugulusi’s long freekick past Mozambique’s custodian.
On the return for the second stanza, both teams preferred to play safe from their halves as they resorted to long balls.
Ten minutes into the second half, after Kakooza’s header landed on Messiah’s hand in the forbidden area, Uganda were awarded a penalty and Kakooza made no mistake from 12 yards.
With 17 minutes to play, Morley Byekwaso made the first change of the game as Ivan Bogere paved way for Steven Sserwadda.
Thirteen minutes later, Najib Yiga laid a curling cross from the left flank that met Kakoaza who preferred to pass to Sserwada whose shot went past Simone Emilio.
Moments later Yiga was stretched off due to an injury as Uganda’s technical bench made two changes, introducing Ivan Eyam and Joseph Bukenya to replace Yiga and Isma Mugulusi respectively.
The result sends Byekwaso’s charges on the helm of Group A past Cameroon who earlier won 1-0 against hosts Mauritania. Uganda Hippos play Cameroon in their next game on February 17, 2020.
How they lined up
Uganda XI: Jack Komakech (GK), Gavin Kizito, Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi, Najib Yiga, Richard Basangwa, Derrick Kakooza, Ivan Bogere
Mozambique XI: Simone Emilio Lipanga (Gk), Belarimo Jose Albino Manhice, Cardoso Luis Novela, Pablo Fenardes Berque, Jose Rebeljne Zavala, Simon Pita Cipriano, Valdimiro Virgilio Paulino, Dias Sabastiao Fumo, Celtano Jenito Jamisse, Alberto Alface, Keyns Sully Amido Abdala