Uganda clinch 2023 CECAFA U18 Championship after dramatic win over Kenya

Friday, December 08, 2023
Kenya 1-2 Uganda

Uganda on Friday emerged victorious in the final of the 2023 CECAFA U18 Boys Championship thanks to a thrilling showdown at the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu which witnessed a hard-fought 2-1 victory over hosts Kenya in extra time.

The Morley Byekwaso-coached Uganda squad showcased resilience and determination, with goals from Batiibwe Okello and Hakim Mutebi sealing their triumph.

The match, marred by a fervent crowd from across East Africa, unfolded as an intense battle for regional glory.

After a scoreless first half, Kenya forward Syphas Owuor ignited the crowd with a 67th-minute goal, putting Kenya in the lead.

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However, Uganda swiftly responded in the 78th minute, as Abasi Kyeyune capitalized on a loose ball, leaving the stadium in stunned silence.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1, the referee ordered 30 minutes of extra time, setting the stage for a nail-biting conclusion.

With only 50 seconds into the extra time, Hakim Mutebi capitalized on a defensive lapse, securing the decisive goal that crowned Uganda as the 2023 CECAFA U18 champions.

The victory marked a moment of glory for Uganda and disappointment for Kenya, showcasing the unpredictable nature of football on the regional stage.

Rising talent Travis Mutyaba who also features for the Uganda Cranes said it was a sweet win for the team having lost the first match, a 1-0 narrow loss against Tanzania. ”We worked so hard and showed determination having lost our first match in the tournament against Tanzania, ” Mutyaba said.

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In the playoffs, Tanzania beat Rwanda 3-1 to finish third with goals from Zidane Ally Sereri, Said Said and John Misheto, while Didie Ndayishiniye found the net for Rwanda.

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