It was a historic tournament for debutants Uganda despite eventually losing two-nil to Ghana in the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Saturday evening.
Uganda’s U-20 national team, nicknamed the Hippos were on Saturday a shadow of themselves and their opponents from West Africa needed only two goals from their captain Daniel Barnieh to ensure they win the tournament in a game played in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott.
Speaking shortly after the game, Hippos coach, Morley Byekwaso said the boys were beaten at experience by the opponent.
We wanted to get an early lead in the first minutes but we failed to convert our chances. The boys lost concentration upfront. Ghana had a better experience than us. The champions used their chances and took the day,” Byekwaso said.
However, despite missing out on a chance to lift the Afcon trophy for the first time the Hippos left the tournament with their heads high up after putting up a stellar performance.
The Ugandan national team coach, Byekwaso was voted coach of the tournament, whereas two of his players Derrick Kakooza and Aziizi Kayondo were named in the team of the tournament.
All was not lost because Hippos also won the tournament fair play award whereas Derrick Kakooza emerged the top scorer of the tournament with five goals on his account.