U20 Afcon: Uganda defeat Mozambique 2-0 to go top of Group A
The Hippos scored their goals in the second half after a goalless first 45 minutes, to get their continental campaign off to a winning start
Uganda have gone top of Group A in the Africa U20 Cup of Nations after their 2-0 win over Mozambique at Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Monday.
The East Africans scored their goals courtesy of Derrick Kakooza and Steven Sserwadda.
The Hippos came into the match knowing a win by a two-goal margin was enough to take them top of their group ahead of Cameroon, who had defeated their hosts Mauritania by a solitary goal on Sunday.
However, it was not going to be easy to get a win against the Southern Africans, who were equally desperate for maximum points to increase their chances of being among the top two teams to advance from the group.
The Hippos started the game on a high and pressed hard for an opening goal.
However, the likes of Ivan Bogere, Kakooza, and Richard Basangwa failed to take their chances.
On the other hand, Dias Fumo, Albert Alface, and Pablo Beque had half chances to score but they also failed to find the way past Jack Komakech in the Uganda goal.
The 2020 U20 Cecafa champions upped their tempo after the half-time break and were rewarded in the 57th minute when a defender handled the ball in the penalty box.
Kakooza rose to the occasion, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, handing his team a deserved lead.
As the match progressed, Mozambique pushed harder for an equalizer and Hippos coach Morley Byekwaso brought on Sserwada for the seemingly tired Bogere.
In the 85th minute, Najib Yiga beat his marker, delivered a good cross that Kakooza managed to tee up Sserwada, who made no mistake from close range.
It was the goal that took the Hippos on top of Group A.
Uganda will now play Cameroon on Wednesday, February 17 before playing the hosts Mauritania on February 20 in their final group game.
Uganda XI: Jack Komakech, Abdu Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Gavin Kizito, Kenneth Semakula, Ivan Bogere, Isma Mugulusi, Najib Yiga, Richard Basangwa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Kakooza Derrick.
Mozambique XI: Simone Emilio Lipanga, Belarmino Jose Albino Manhice, Cardoso Luis Novela, Pablo Fernandes Beque, Jose Zavala, Simon Cipriano, Valdimiro Paulino, Dias Fumo, Celton Jamisse, Alberto Alface, Keyns Amido Abdala.