Tuesday, December 22
*Final: Uganda 3-1 Tanzania
Playoff: Djibouti 2-5 Ethiopia
Uganda extended their regional dominance with another Cecafa title on Tuesday.
The Uganda Cubs beat Tanzania 3-1 to win the CECAFA U17 Championship at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda.
Second half goals from Ivan Irinimbazi, Travis Mutyaba and Ibrahim Juma saw Uganda defend a title they won in 2018, and hence qualify to AFCON U17 Championship next year in Morocco in style.
Irinimbazi rose highest to direct a header from Vincent Mulema freekick to break Tanzania resilience in the 62nd minute.
Mutyaba scored a beauty to double the advantage – He turned three Tanzania players Omar Hassani, Sultan Omar Bakari and Abdulkarim Kassim in and out before unleashing a low shot into the net.
Mulema scored in his own net, but with two minutes on the clock, the Cubs held on before getting a third to seal a much needed victory.
Omar Hassan Yahya brought down Mutyaba in the area, after the Vipers forward had exploded forward thanks to a quick started freekick from Ibrahim Juma.
Juma, the team captain, stepped up to send the Tanzanian goalie James Mabada the wrong way from the spot.
The victory come a month after Uganda Hippos won the CECAFA U20 in Arusha.
The country is also the reigning champion of Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, CECAFA U15 (Boys), U17 (Girls) while KCCA won the cecafa Club championship last year.
Uganda Cubs Persevere Against Toughest Opponent
After sealing qualification to AFCON U17 Championship, much beside the trophy was at stake. For Uganda, it was about pride and bragging rights, while for Tanzania, it was about revenge against a team that beat them two years ago at the semis of the previous edition.
Uganda had also beaten Tanzania in the U20 Cecafa final as well last month in their own backyard.
The opening minutes proved that it was going to be a toughest test for the Cubs who came into the game having not conceded a single goal.
It was a scrappy start for Uganda Cubs who were second best in the first half with keeper Henry Mwebe called out twice to save the situation in the opening minutes.
Lutalo could later lose Enock Luyima to injury, with Hassan Mubiru coming in as an early substitute.
Uganda’s best chance in the entire half saw Oscar Mawa’s rocket saved at near post.
The side lacked the ruthlessness that saw them whitewash Kenya and Ethiopia in the group games but could later improve in the second half.
They showed resilience that saw them edge Djibouti in the semis, and started to ask questions with Mutyaba rising to the occasion.
Bugembe Issa had a chance to open the score but his freekick was kept out while Oscar Mawa fired poorly and over when put through on goal.
Tanzania bossed the midfield but Uganda continued to ask questions and could later open the score when Irinimbazi was at the end of Mulema freekick to head home.
Mutyaba’s goal was a Messi-like strike, the youngster showed art and skill to double the advantage for the Cubs.
Tanzania were not going down without a fight, and could deny Uganda a clean sheet, when Mulema’s attempted clearance sliced into his own net as Uganda conceded for the first time in the tournament.
Tanzania could later see their faint hopes all but end when Mutyaba won a penalty for Juma to restore a two-goal parity.
Oscar Mawa finishes the tourney as the top scorer with six goals.
Uganda Cubs Starting XI – Henry Mwebe, Vincent Mulema, Juma Ibrahim, Ronald Madoi, Peter Gava, Ivan Irinimbazi, Samuel Madiba, Travis Mutyaba, Oscar Mawa, Issa Bugembe, Enock Luyima
Substitutes – Abdu Magada, Humphrey Oyirwoth, Shafic Magogo, Basil Tuma, Fahad Jumbe, Hassan Mubiru, Elvis Mwanje, Shugai Kaliisa
Tanzania XI – James Mabada, Abubaker Ramadhani Lubotile, Omari Hassan Yahya, Abdulkarim Kassim Kassim Kiswanya, Abubaker Abudallah Sabian, Omar Abbas Mvungi, Ladaki Juma Chasambi, Omari Sultan Omari Bakari, Sylvester Sylvester Otto, Hijjah Shamte Lidah, Mbarak Mohammed Saad Hussein
Substitutes – Edward Edward, Nuhhu Lugalamila, Chande Mkala, Abdulrazak Dominick, Shomary Mkwama, Rahim Chapaulinge, Kassimu Yahaya, Abdallah Hamisi Hassani, Said Said