The Uganda Hippos continued their preparations for the upcoming AFCON U20 tournament with a slender 1-0 victory over Tanzania in a friendly game on Wednesday, February 03.
The two sides faced off at the Azam Sports Complex in Chamazi with Richard Basangwa netting the only goal of the contest off a Bobosi Byaruhanga free kick.
Uganda could have won by more than one goal but Ivan Bogere missed from the spot before substitute Steven Sserwadda saw an overhead kick rattle the cross bar.
It was a fine performance for the Hippos as they restricted Tanzania to just a few opportunities.
Speaking after the game, Hippos head Morley Byekwaso coach stressed that his side went into the game so as to gauge the progress of his players rather than win it.
“The game has been so good. Our intention was not to win but rather prepare the team and see how players react in different situations because the main tournament is in Mauritania. Byekwaso said.
“We wanted to see the shape of the players so that by the time we start competing for points, we shall have known each and everyone’s shape.
Byekwaso who oversaw the Hippos’ qualification for the AFCON tournament, last year by winning the U20 CECAFA Cup, was pleased with the challenge that Tanzania posed for his side.
“I am happy we played a team like Tanzania because they are quick and fast and they put as through a lot of pressure.
“They did not allow us to do what we wanted but thank God we persevered and got that goal.”
The Hippos made up to six substitutions in Wednesday’s game and Byekwaso maintains that it was a move to ensure they have several players ready for the upcoming adventure in Mauritania.
“It depends because we need to have variations and shifting of players in various positions depending on what we want.
“We need to ensure that we have up to 15 players who are very fit, creative and very focused in the tournament because once we have such a number of players who are ready to give us results, it gives us the advantage to counter any situation.”
After Tanzania, the Hippos will play another game on Saturday, February 13 before heading to Mauritania on the 10th.
At the AFCON finals, Uganda is in Group B alongside Mozambique, Cameroon and the hosts.
They will face Mozambique in the first match on 15th February 2021. The second match will be on 17th February against Cameroon before taking on Mauritania in the last group match on 20th February 2021.
Uganda U-20 XI Vs Tanzania U-20
Jack Komakech (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Najib Yiga, Isma Mugulusi, Derrick Kakooza, Ivan Bogere, Richard Basangwa
65’ Steven Sserwadda ON, Najib Yiga OUT
65’ Joseph Kizza Bukenua ON, Ivan Bogere OUT
80’ Andrew Kawooya ON, Isma Mugulusi OUT
80’ Samuel Ssenyonjo ON, Derrick Kakooza OUT
90’ Alpha Ssali ON, Richard Basangwa OUT
90’ Faisal Wabyoona ON, Bobosi Byaruhanga OUT
Subs Not Used
Delton Oyo, Denis Ssenyondwa, Joseph Kafumbe, James Begisa, Baligeya, Ivan Eyamu, Ivan Asaba, Davis Ssekajja