Monday, February 15
*Uganda Vs Mozambique – 4pm
Uganda Hippos will be hoping to get off the mark when they face Mozambique in Group A of the 2021 AFCON U20 Championship in Mauritania.
The tournament kicked off on Sunday with the other group A opponents Cameroon edging hosts Mauritania 1-0 thanks to a Junior Sunday late strike at the Olympic Stadium.
This, is the first edition to have expanded to 12 teams from eight and Uganda, just like Mozambique, is among the seven debutants.
The semifinalists would have normally qualified to the 2021 FIFA U20 World Cup in Indonesia as CAF representatives but the tourney was canceled due to Covid19 by FIFA.
To reach this stage, the Hippos beat Kenya to storm the final in a CECAFA U20 tournament played in Arusha, Tanzania last year which they consequently won after overcoming Tanzania Ngorongoro Heroes.
Mozambique on the other hand, topped group A of the COSAFA U20 that had hosts South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho and later beat Zambia 5-4 in shootouts before after a goalless draw in normal time.
Mozambique edged Namibia 1-0 in the final.
In short, the game today pits together the champions of CECAFA U20 and COSAFA U20.
To prepare for the finals in Mauritania, after playing buildup games with UPL clubs KCCA and URA FC, the Hippos played a double header with Tanzania which was split – Uganda won 1-0 and lost 5-3 in the second encounter.
Coach Morley Byekwaso will bank on the experience of Vipers duo Bobosi Byaruhanga and Aziz Kayondo who were part of the Uganda Cranes team that played at the 2020 CHAN in Cameroon.
However, Ivan Bogere will carry the scoring burden while Richard Basangwa and Isma Mugulusi will be the other stars to watch out for.
The ‘Mambinhas’, as the Mozambicans U20 side are called, were the second country after Namibia to arrive in Namibia, and have acclimatized to Mauritania’s scorching sun.
Coached by Dario Monteiro, Mozambique will be hoping to leave a mark in West Africa.
Uganda Hippos Probable Lineup – Jack Komakech (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Aziz Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Najib Yiga, Isma Mugulusi, Derrick Kakooza, Ivan Bogere, Richard Basangwa
How To Watch – Azam TV is broadcasting the tournament. The first game was aired on ZBC 2.
Kwetu Sports Facebook page is also expected to provide a live link.
You can as well follow our Facebook page for updates and a comprehensive match report after the game.