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Ghana And Uganda Face Off In U-20 AFCON Final

Three-time champions Ghana will square off with debutants Uganda at Stade Olympique de Nouakchott on Saturday in the final of this year’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Black Satellites advanced to the final following a 1-0 success over The Gambia, while Uganda Hippos thrashed Tunisia 4-1 in their matches on Monday.

Abdul Karim Zito’s  charges made it out of the group stages as one of the best two third placed teams after losing their last group match to The Gambia to finish third in the group.

The Black Satellites began their campaign on a positive note with a 4-0 win over Tanzania before being held to a goalless draw in the second game against Benin.

However, the Ghanaians were stunned by The Gambia 1-2 in their last group match that was played the Stade de Nouadhibou.

In the Quarter-finals, they met Cameroon in a match that they came from a goal down in extra time to force out a 1-1 draw and win the tie 4-2 on penalties to progress to the semis.

In the last four, Ghana avenged the defeat they suffered to the Gambians to snatch a 1-0 victory, to book a meeting with the East African at the finals.

On their part, Uganda cruised past Tunisia in style as they continued their good scoring form to the competition.

Morley Byekwaso’s charges sailed to the knockout stage after two wins against Mozambique, who they downed 2-0 before beating hosts Mauritania 2-1 but suffered a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon.

In the last eight, the wounded Hippos unleashed attacking football against Burkina Faso to win on penalties and sail to the semis.

In the last four, Hippos defied all odds to defeat Tunisia 4-1 to qualify for their first U20 Africa Cup of Nations final.

A hat-trick from Derrick Kakooza and a strike from Richard Basangwa gave the East Africans a massive win over their opponents who scored through Ben Lamin.

“For Uganda to beat Tunisia 4-1 shows that they cannot be taken for granted. We are coming into the game with all seriousness. No one came into this tournament due to their previous records or name of their country. We all made it to this stage of the competition on merit. Their game against Tunisia has given us heads up to come into the final match fully prepared”, Ghana coach Zito stated during the pre-match press conference.

On his side, Uganda coach Morley Byekwaso believes it is time for his team to accomplish the mission by winning the trophy.

“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,” Byekwaso said.

“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 game is scheduled to kick off at 8:00pm GMT at the Olympique Stadium in Nouakchott.

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