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Uganda stage comeback against Kenya U18 to win CECAFA

Friday, December 8th, 2023 18:05 | By
Action between Kenya U18 and Uganda. PHOTO/FUFA
Action between Kenya U18 and Uganda. PHOTO/FUFA

Uganda are the CECAFA U18 Champions, after a comeback to defeat Kenya U18 2-1 in a final held at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Mamboleo.

The first half was tightly contested with limited chances. In Kenya's maiden opportunity, Humphrey Aroko failed to beat Uganda's goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation, marking one of the prime chances of the first half.

Uganda blow in CECAFA

Uganda faced an early setback when Captain Luis Anguti had to exit the game due to injury, making way for Alex Yiga.

Uganda lineup ahead of the CECAFA U18 final.  PHOTO/FUFA
Uganda lineup ahead of the CECAFA U18 final. PHOTO/FUFA

Towards the end of the first half, coach Salim Babu implemented a double substitution, introducing Aldrine Kibet for Joseph Omuse and Lucas Maina for Humphrey Aroko. The changes proved impactful, with Maina's long-range strike grazing the top of the net.

Uganda appeared to score through Richard Okello just before halftime, but the assistant referee flagged for offside, providing a sigh of relief for Kenya.

In the second half, Kenya brought in Tyron Junior Kariuki, and shortly afterwards, they nearly took the lead as the Uganda goalkeeper swiftly reacted to prevent a defensive error.

Kenya U18 goal in CECAFA Final

In the 63rd minute, a collision between Baron Ochieng and Ibrahim Wanzala resulted in a medical break. When play resumed, Wanzala unleashed a long-range kick into Uganda's box, and Syphas Owuor capitalized on the defensive lapse, securing a goal and sending the stadium into cheers.

Uganda equalized in the 78th minute when a free-kick delivery evaded three Kenyan players, finding an unmarked Abasi Kyeyune just in front of the Kenyan keeper. Kyeyune slotted the ball into the net for Uganda's opening goal.

Kenya U18 celebrate in CECAFA U18 IN Kisumu. PHOTO/CECAFA Online
Kenya U18 celebrate in CECAFA U18 IN Kisumu. PHOTO/CECAFA Online

The match proceeded to extra time, where Uganda swiftly took the lead within 50 seconds. Alex Yiga's shot drew the Kenyan defense and goalkeeper, and Hakim Mutebi's subsequent strike ensured Uganda's lead.

Uganda held on to the narrow lead to clinch the championship title.

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