Saturday, March 6
*Ghana 2-0 Uganda
Uganda Hippos’ dream for a first continental silverware was ended by a 2-0 loss to Ghana’s Black Satellites in the final of the 2021 AFCON U20 Championship.
A brace from Daniel Afriyie Barnieh handed Ghana the needed win to claim their fourth title in the competition.
Uganda were second best on what turned out to be a quite night for Morley Byekwaso’s side at the Stade Olympique de Nouakchott as Ghana marched on to victory that coincides with the nation’s independence day.
The Hippos looked deflated and lacked the right spark going forward as they failed to mount the challenge.
Ghana twice hit the crossbar in quick successions with Philomon Baffour and Emmanuel Essiam at the giving end as goalkeeper Jack Komakech remained puzzled and rooted on his line.
The Black Satellites took the lead through Barnieh who scored with a high boot close to Bobosi Byaruhanga from a corner.
Sensational Patawu made a split pass to find Boah who set Barnieh clean to calmly double the advantage five minutes into the second half.
The 2-0 scoreline is a reminiscent of the 1978 result when Ghana beat the Uganda Cranes in the AFCON final.
The triumph sends Ghana joint second with Egypt with four AFCON U20 trophies, behind Nigeria on Seven.
Ghana had earlier won in 1993, 1999 and 2009 before overcoming the Hippos in Mauritania – They went on to win the World Cup after the 2009 AFCON U20 win.
Dream Shattered, But Hippos Walk Off With Heads High
The Hippos looked a shadow of themselves from the team that ousted Burkina Faso and Tunisia on road to the final.
From the starting lineup that played the semi, Coach Morley Byekwaso made just one change with Ivan Asaba starting ahead of Najib Yiga.
Asaba lacked colour and was robbed of possession on most occasions while Richard Basangwa and Bobosi Byaruganga failed to rise to the occasion.
Kakooza could have given Uganda a dream start when he chased on a long ball over the top but skied the attempt over the crossbar in the opening exchanges.
The Hippos rarely threatened afterwards and failed to benefit from set-pieces to hand Ghana run for their money.
Substitute Ivan Bogere had a chance to give the scoreline a decent look when he beat his marker at the edge of the area with an admirable turn but his resultant effort was easily went wide.
The Hippos later failed to capitalise on a keeper blunder when he came out to punch an Aziz kayondo free kick before the satellite stars cleared far away from danger
Uganda will leave the tournament with their heads high for obvious reasons – an impressive run in for a debutant and some remarkable individual brilliance headlined by Kakooza who finishes as the top scorer with five games.
The CECAFA U20 Champions will find solace in the silver medal after the FIFA U20 World Cup was canceled due to Covid19 – The top four semifinalists would have qualified for the global showpiece.
Ghana – Danland Ibrahim, Philomon Daffour, Frank Kwabena, Emmanuel Essam, Percious Boah, Daniel Afriye, Mohamed Sulemana, Patrick Mensah, Abdul Fatamu, Samuel Quaye, Uzair Al Hassan
Uganda – Jack Komakech, Gavin Kizito, Aziz Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Gavin Kizito, Kenneth Ssemakula, Steven Sserwadda, Isma Mugulusi, Ivan Asaba, Richard Basangwa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Derrick Kakooza