By Edwin Kyle Kule
Uganda U20 Hippos secured a comfortable 4-1 win over hosts Tanzania at Black Rhino Academy Stadium, Karatu to emerge winners of the 2020 CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup.
Najib Yiga, Steven Sserwadda, Ivan Bogere and Aziz Kayondo scored the four goals for Uganda on Wednesday afternoon past Tanzania who got their goal through Abdul Suleiman.
Uganda Hippos head coach Morley Byekwaso maintained the same team that grabbed a comfortable win against Kenya in the semi-finals.
Vipers SC forward, Yiga put the Hippos in the driving seat, his curling effort from a free-kick beating Tanzania goalkeeper Zuberi Masudi in the 12th minute of the game.
Both sides delivered a familiar approach and as expected it was a tug of war in the midfield as both teams shared commanding rights.
At the half-hour mark, Tanzania’s period of possession paid off when Musa Ramathan handled the ball inside the area with the hosts awarded a penalty. Abdul Suleiman stepped up to convert from the spot to level matters.
Sserwadda restored the Hippos lead with a clinical tap in at the near post off Kayondo’s low cross. Bogere then got a chance to make it three at the stroke of halftime, but the striker failed to convert from the penalty spot.
Tanzania introduced dangerman Kelvin John 10 minutes into the second half as they searched for a way back into the game, but its Uganda who added to their advantage.
Bogere took his tally in the tournament to five and secure the tournament’s Golden boot, heading Sserwadda’s corner kick past Masudi in the 61st minute.
In the 72nd minute, a rather unfamiliar name Aziz Kayondo got on the score sheet in a unique manner. The defender’s long ball from his own half looped over Razack Shekimweri who had been introduced for Masudi.
The Hippos not only lifted the regional title but also – together with Tanzania – clinched a spot at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations U20 finals due in Mauritania.
Each player on the Hippos squad will also pocket a token of UGX 3.7 million from the Federation of Uganda Football Associations for the triumph.
How they lined up
Uganda U-20 XI: Jack Komakech (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Aziz Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Isma Mugulusi, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Richard Basangwa, Najib Yiga, Ivan Bogere, Steven Sserwadda
Tanzania U-20 XI: Zuberi Masudi (Gk), David Kameta, Khleffin Salum, Samweli Jackson, Frank Kihole, Anuari Jabri, Abdurazak Hamza, Pascal Msindo, Mussa Gadi, Kassim Shabani, Abdul Sulaiman