Debutants Uganda on Monday evening made history when they stormed the finals of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Tunisia in the semifinals.
Playing in the tournament for the first time ever, the Hippos went into the championship as the underdogs but have surprised everybody with a stellar performance that was again reciprocated in their Monday semifinal game as they whitewashed Tunisia 4-1 in a game played at the Stade Cheikha Ould Boïdiya in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.
The Hippos opened their account on the day with a Richard Basangwa goal only five minutes after kick-off but this was just the beginning as the team scored three more times again, thanks to Derrick Kakooza who bagged a hat trick on the day the Ugandan side made history.
Speaking shortly after the game, coach Morley Byekwaso attributed the team’s stellar performance to good preparations.
“We spent days focusing on how to stop the Tunisians. It was easy for us but God was on our side. We tried to prevent them from possessing the ball. It was challenging to play against one of Africa’s strongest teams but our game plan worked for us,” Byekwaso said.
The Monday win saw Hippos reach a feat they have never achieved for the U-20 team in the African Cup of Nations but the icing on the cake is the fact that this was the first time Uganda participated in the tournament.
The win ensured Uganda set up a date with Ghana in the finals to be played at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott on Saturday.