The youngster scored the only goal of the encounter in the first half in Dar es Salaam to hand his side an opening victory
Uganda U20 recorded a 1-0 win over their Tanzanian counterparts in Wednesday’s pre-African Cup of Nations showdown at Chamazi Sports Complex.
The Hippos’ Richard Basangwa scored the only goal that separated the two participants of the pre-Afcon tournament that also involves Namibia.
There was not much action in the first half as both teams played cautiously and few attacks were launched.
Tanzania and Simba SC’s David Kameta was yellow-carded in the 25th minute as Uganda looked determined to venture forward unlike in the opening matches.
They were rewarded with a rather deserving opener in the 43rd minute when Basangwa found the back of the net after he collected a cross from Bobosi Byaruhanga.
The Hippos were able to clutch unto the slim win until the end to condemn the hosts into an opening loss.
Confident Uganda’ head coach Morley Byekwaso had tipped the Tanzanian game to give side, especially the forwards, the best platform to sharpen their skills ahead of Afcon.
“We have worked well on our attacking department,” the coach said. “We need to practice more on scoring goals as it will help us a lot in the final tournament.
“The game against Tanzania in the mini-tournament will help us find out how much work has been done in the attack. There is no win that comes without scoring.
“My boys are hunters, they are thirsty for goals and will score. Tanzania will be a good test.”
Uganda will leave for North Africa on February 10 before the tournament kicks off four days later.
When he named his final squad, Byekwaso retained 18 players who were part of the qualifiers in Tanzania.
The new players who were named to join the 18 are Derrick Kakooza of Police FC, Davis Sekajja of Bright Stars, KCCA FC’s Andrew Kawooya, goalkeeper Delton Oyo of Busoga United FC, Kibuli SS’s Simon Baligeya and Ivan Eyamu of Mbarara City.
The Hippos are in Group A with the hosts Mauritania, Cameroon and Mozambique. They will begin with a match against Mozambique on February 15 before facing Cameroon two days later.
The Cecafa champions will finish their group duties with a match against the hosts on February 20.
Tanzania, who lost the Cecafa finals to Uganda, are in Group C that also has Ghana, Gambia and Morocco while Group B has Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Namibia, and the Central African Republic.
The two winners from each group will be guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals of the biennial competition alongside the two best third-place finishers from any of the two groups.