Saturday, March 6
*Ghana Vs Uganda – 11pm
Uganda Hippos face Ghana tonight in the final of the AFCON U20 Championship at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott.
On Friday, Gambia edged Tunisia 4-2 in shootouts to claim their bronze medal.
The Uganda Hippos will be considered as overachievers having reached the final on their debut appearance.
They came second in group A after beating hosts Mauritania and Mozambique despite loss to Cameroon.
The side ousted Burkina Faso in penalties at quarters before easing past Tunisia 4-1 at the semis in the team’s best display to date.
The Hippos will be hoping to make history and become the first football national team to win a continental trophy in Uganda.
“It will be tough game because we will be playing a strong, tactical team with a lot of experience in this tournament, but we are ready to play. We have nothing to lose and we only need to play good, whoever plays well will take the day,” said Hippos coach Morley Byekwaso as quoted by CAF.
“We need to have lots of tactical discipline because we know how strong and physical they are and how good they are on the ball. If we read the opponent right and prepare well for them, I know we will succeed.”
The meeting provides Uganda with an opportunity to revenge the 2-0 loss to Ghana when the two senior sides met in the 1978 AFCON final.
Coach Morley will bank on his target man Derrick Kakooza who is the tournament leading goalscorer with five goals.
The Police striker scored from the spot against Mozambique and Mauritania and later bagged a hat-trick in the semi.
Aziz Kayondo and Bobosi Byaruhanga will offer experience having been part of the senior side at CHAN in Cameroon earlier this year.
Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda and Richard Basangwa will also offer creativity upfront.
From goalkeeper Jack Komakech to Musa Ramathan, the Hippos have had one of the best defences in the tournament and will prove a hard nut to crack against the West Africans.
Ghana – African Powerhouse
Ghana will be the odds favourite to take the day as the West African side will bank on pedigree in the competition.
They are taking part in their 12th championship, having won three – In 1993, 1999 and 2009.
Their road to final has seen them finish as one of the two third placed teams before overcoming Cameroon and Gambia in quarter and semis respectively.
Ghana coach Abdul Karim Zito, as quoted by CAF, said: “The fact that we have won this title before is in the past. Now we need to look at the present. We are keen to take this Cup and the biggest reason is because Ghanaian people trusted us and sent us here and it would only proper if we give them a gift especially on the day Ghana is celebrating its birthday.
“In Africa now, there are no big names or small names. Each country is improving and we know Uganda will be a tough opponent. They beat Tunisia 4-1 and it was not luck. They played well and we will not underrate them.”
Ghana will bank on striker Boah who has scored three goals so far.
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, Najib Yiga, Richard Basangwa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Derrick Kakooza
How To Watch – The game will be broadcast on KBC Channel (on StarTimes and DStv), and Azam TV.
You can listen to radio commentary on FUFA FM
Follow text updates via The-SportsNation social media pages.
We shall provide a YouTube link to the final before kickoff on our pages as well.
You can as well read our comprehensive match report immediately after the final and reactions afterwards.