Uganda’s men finish sixth at hockey Afcon

Finally shining. Batusa (R) in action against Namibia. The attacking midfielder scored in Uganda’s last two games after firing blanks in the pool stages. PHOTO | MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

What you need to know:

  • The display was a far cry from the inspired running in the 1-1 draw with Ghana on opening day but there had been signs in the 3-2 win over Namibia the previous day that the fatigue was starting to take centre stage.

ACCRA, GHANA. Ugandan men finished sixth after an insipid show in the fifth place playoffs match with Africa Cup of Nations hosts Ghana on Saturday.

Uganda were a shadow of their hard running selves as they let Ghana score once in each quarter of the first half before letting in three in the third quarter and once in the last.

“The tournament has been tough because we play one game today and a tougher one the next day,” Colline Batusa, the consolation goal scorer in the defeat to Ghana, said.

The display was a far cry from the inspired running in the 1-1 draw with Ghana on opening day but there had been signs in the 3-2 win over Namibia the previous day that the fatigue was starting to take centre stage.

Richard Adjei opened the scoring in the 12th minute and Francis Tettey doubled the lead in the 23rd.

Benjamin Kwofie’s back hand found the black board in the 34th minute then Adjei and Tettey doubled their money in the 37th and 44th minute respectively.

In the 55th minute, coach Francesco Richichi decided to give substitute goalkeeper Richard Kaijuka some playing time to add to the 15 minutes he had against Nigeria. But Emmanuel Akaba gave him a rude welcome with a 58th minute goal in the top left corner.

“I think we have a long way to go but the advantage is that age is on our side (average age of the team is 24),” Batusa said.

“Other teams are beating us with the experience and exposure of their players. If we can consistently keep coming to such tournaments, we shall get there too,” he said.

For the coaches, the last match left lessons on the need to keep the team motivated and sharp throughout the tournament.

Uganda’s goal scorers

3 Thomas Opio

2 Colline Batusa

Timothy Ntumba

1 Brian Okodi

Maxwell Mugisha

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