History has been written again in Ugandan football as the Uganda U17 team ‘ Cubs’ emerged winners of the Total CECAFA U17 Zonal Qualifiers thus representing the region to the 2019 Total CAF U17 AFCON after defeating Ethiopia 3-1 in the final at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on Sunday evening.
It is the first time Uganda will have a Junior team at the finals of a continental tournament.
Good times are also happening to Ugandan football as two AFCON finals’ appearances in two years under the administration of FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo and his entire Executive shouldn’t be taken as a light matter.
Uganda’s U17 opening goal came inside the first 15 minutes when defender Kasozi Samson’s header from the sixth Uganda corner of the game was on target to put the Cubs ahead.
In the 28thminute Sekajja Davis had a chance to double the lead for Uganda however his final ball went wide with only a goalkeeper to beat.
Before the break, Iddi Abdu Wahid’s cross from the right found a well-positioned Ibrahim Juma whose shot hit the post.
At the beginning of the second half Uganda Cubs tactician Peter Onen brought on Vipers SC Junior team midfielder Ivan Asaba for Yiga Najib who had an attempt just after coming on but his shot was inches wide.
Asaba’s dribbling skills mounted pressure on Ethiopia’s defenders. Mohammad Mosha fouled him on the edge of the box before Sekajja’s direct free kick to the right side of the target was saved.
In the 61stminute Thomas Kakaire released Iddi Abdu Wahid in the center of the park to double the lead for Uganda.
Uganda’s goalkeeper Delton Oyo made a save in a one on one situation and denied Ethiopia chance to score.
KCCA FC SA left-winger was substituted for Alou John Kokas eight minutes to the end of the game before Iddi Abdu Wahid scored the third from Asaba’s minus in the 85thminute.
Onen made his final change with Mwaka Polycap replacing Iddi Abdu Wahid in the 89thminute.
In added time Ethiopia got a consolation from a spot kick converted by Mintesnot Wakjira after Kasozi Samson handled the ball in the area.
‘We have been strong since the second game in the tournament. We have revenged against the Ethiopians. I’m very proud with the boys. They have been so determined and followed whatever we planned. I thank my technical team for the work done it was a collective achievement. FUFA thank you for supporting and giving these young players chance to play’ said Peter Onen Uganda U17 Head Coach.
Tanzania’s captain Kevin John was named tournament’s Most Valuable Player while Ethiopia’s Mintesnot Wakjira took the top scorer accolade with 8 goals.
Uganda will play in CAF U17 AFCON finals next year in Tanzania.