Uganda Hippos thrash Tunisia 4-1 to earn a coveted spot in the AFCON U20 Final

Full-Time: Uganda 4-1 Tunisia – Goals (Richard Basangwa 4, Derrick Kakooza 36, 50, 73 – Ahmed Benlamine 39′)

Full-Time: Uganda 4-1 Tunisia – Goals (Richard Basangwa 4, Derrick Kakooza 36, 50, 73 – Ahmed Benlamine 39′)

Derrick Kakooza starred with a hattrick as debutants Uganda continued with their dream run at the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), beating Tunisia 4-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Monday to book a date against Ghana in Saturday’s final.

Kakooza, duly named man of the match, moved clear of Ghana’s Percious Boah in the race for the Golden Boot, with his hattrick against the Tunisians taking his tally in the tournament to five.

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Uganda Hippos players celebrate at Full Time whistle after making history to reach the finals as debutants

The Police FC striker scored one in the first half and two in the second, adding on to Richard Basangwa’s early opener.

They were two to the good after 36 minutes and it was that man Basangwa who hurt them again. The forward picked up the ball on the left, drove into the box before cutting back a cross that Kakooza gleefully tapped into an empty net for his third of the tournament.

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Hippos forward Richard Basangwa finishes off a lob-shot to give Uganda the lead in the fourth minute

But Tunisia halved the deficit just two minutes on the turn when Benlamine tapped into the net from close range after keeper Jack Komakech had pushed Chiheb Labidi’s flick off a Zied Berrima corner against the upright.

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Uganda almost snapped back their two goal advantage a minute to the break when Bobosi Byaruhanga pinched the ball off the Tunisians in midfield before playing Isma Mugulusi through, the midfielder’s ferocious shot coming off the bar with keeper Elias Imed left rooted to his spot.

Skipper Gavin Kizito leads the Hippos team in celebration after booking place in the 2021 AFCON U20 finals

At the start of the second half, Tunisia made changes at the front, Nabil Makni coming off for Hamdi Abidi. The substitute almost came in with a bang just a minute after coming on, his towering header off Mohamed Amine Ben Zghada’s cross from the left going inches over.

But the Ugandans got themselves back in comfortable space just two minutes later, Kakooza scoring his second with a looping header after his run behind the defense was picked out by the impressive Byaruhanga.

With a comfortable two-goal margin, the Ugandans eased the pressure with the Tunisians looking lost for answers. A good interchange of passes at the edge of the box almost saw Uganda score a fourth, but Bogere’s shot after a backheel flick from Steven Sserwadda went over.

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Tunisia tried to find their way back into the match and they were inches close in the 71st minute but were denied when Musa Ramathan cleared off the line. Keeper Komakech had been beaten by Abidi as he came out to pick a cross, but the substitutes header was cleared before it crossed the chalk.

Off the resultant corner, Uganda were away on the counter attack and they made it 4-1, putting the game to bed. Skipper Gavin Kizito looped the ball forward and Bogere controlled and put Kakooza through, the forward striding through on goal to slide in the fourth and his fifth of the tournament.

Uganda Hippos XI: Jack Komakech (GK), Gavin Kizito (C), Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobsi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda, Richard Basangwa, Najib Yiga and Derrick Kakooza

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