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U-20 AFCON: Uganda Sink Mozambique

Uganda huffed and puffed and ultimately edged their way past Mozambique in their U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Group A opener at the Olympic Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Goals from Derrick Kakooza and Steven Sserwadda spearheaded the East Africans to a 2-0 win in a largely convincing display against the Southern African nation.

Ivan Bogere started in the attack along with Kakooza and Richard Basangwa up front, while Kenetth Ssemakula, Bobosi Braruhanga and Najib Yiga made up the midfield.

Mozambique were on the back foot right from the get go when Kakooza threatened the goal on 10 minutes following a free-kick from Aziz Kayondo, but the Mambasa shot-stopper Simone Lipanga thwarted the attempt.

Celton Jamisse failed to put Mozambique ahead four minutes later when he blazed over the top from close range following a goal-mouth scramble from an inviting delivery inside the area.

Uganda responded seven minutes later with a goal threatening strike from 20 metres courtesy of Ivan Bogere, but it was off target.

Richard Basangwa was put through on a one-on-one situation but disappointingly shot wide on the half-hour mark.
Uganda were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute after following a foul committed by a Mozambican defender.Derrick Kakooza stood up and thumped the ball home for his first international goal.

The Junior Cranes should’ve doubled their lead 10 minutes later after Najub Yiga picked out Keneth Ssemakula, but the latter failed to hit the target with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.

Morly Byekwaso’s men conjured further chances through Mugusili and Musa Ramathan before Mozambique were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty of their own, after the ball clearly struck Aziz Kayondo on the arm in the penalty area.

Second half substitute Steven Sserwadda grabbed the second for Uganda four minutes to the end of the match when finished off a nice move which carved the Mozambique defence open.

Uganda goalkeeper Jack Komakech pulled of a great save to deny Cardoso Novela a consolation goal after a brilliant move from the wings kept the scores level.

Mozambique keeper Simone Lipanga twice had to deny Sserwadda by parrying away his efforts.

Uganda’s next match is against Cameroon at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday while Mozambique face Mauritania.

In the tournament’s opener on Sunday night, Cameroon made a winning start after defeating hosts Mauritania 1-0 in an entertaining encounter at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott.

Junior Sunday Jang scored the all-important goal for the young lions of Cameroon who are making their tenth appearance at the biennial tournament.

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