Hip hip Hippos

Friday March 19 2021
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Hippos will need Richard Basangwa (C) and Derrick Kakooza to lead the attack against Ghana today. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Elvis Senono

Hip hip Hippos,  Cranes , 1978 Africa Cup of Nations, Nouakchott, Mauritania


History beckons for the national under-20 team, the Hippos, when they take on Ghana this evening to determine the winner of the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.

The Hippos are Uganda’s first national football team to reach a continental final since the Cranes at the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations.

They have an opportunity to go one better than their senior colleagues who lost 2-0 to hosts Ghana – today’s opponents at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

And like the Cranes then, the Hippos have been the surprise package at the now 12-team biennial tournament and will start as underdogs.


Ghana’s profile includes three previous titles in 1993, 1999 and 2009 when they also emerged world champions.

But players move on from under-age competitions and the Morley Byekwaso-coached Hippos, one of seven debutants at the tournament, will be confident of securing victory.