By Judith Nasenya
After a successful display of great football in their maiden tournament, the Uganda U20 team fell to West African giants Ghana in the Final by 2-0 at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott on Saturday night.
Despite dominating the opening 15 minutes of the Total AFCON U20 final game, the Hippos conceded in the 21st and 50th minutes of the game with goals coming from Ghanaian captain Daniel Afriyie Barnieh who later named Man of the Match and Player of the Tournament.
Tournament top scorer Derrick Kakooza had a chance to hand Uganda the lead inside five minutes of the match but his looping ball went over the bar. Substitute Ivan Bogere and Ivan Eyam also got opportunities inside the goal area but their efforts were not timed well.
‘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 the better experience than us. The champions used their chances and took the day’ daid Head Coach Byekwaso during the post-match press conference.
Striker Derrick Kakooza emerged as the 2021 Total AFCON U20 top scorer with 5 goals. He was rewarded with an accolade.
The Hippos won the Tournament Fair Play Award.
Left Back Aziizi Kayondo and Derrick Kakooza were named in the team of the Tournament while Head coach Byekwaso was picked as the best coach of the Tournament.
I am privileged to win the top scorer’s accolade, it wasn’t my own effort but for the whole team. I thank God for it and it has given me the courage to work hard for the best in my career’ said Derrick Kakooza after receiving the Top Scorer’s Award
The Hippos ended the tournament with 8 goals scored and conceding 5 from the 6 games played.
Isma Mugulusi (shirt 10), Aziizi Kayondo (shirt 3) and Derrick Kakooza (shirt 20) are the three players that managed to win Man of the Match accolade against Mozambique, Mauritania and Tunisia respectively.