Hippos storm Afcon finals

Tuesday December 01 2020
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Prolific. Bogere wheels away in celebration after scoring. The Proline youngster scored twice during in the 3-1 semifinal victory over Kenya to help the Hippos storm the U-20 Afcon finals for the first time. PHOTO/COURTESY


No one ever wants to ever end up on the losing side of a final.
And as the national Under-20 team, the Hippos, go into tomorrow’s final to determine the winner of the Cecafa tournament, they will as a result not be short of motivation according to coach Morley Byekwaso.

This is after the Hippos completed their main task at the tournament being played in Tanzania by ensuring the country will for the first time take part in the Afcon U-20 tournament due in Mauritius next year.
“I thank the almighty for blessing us in this way,” a beaming Hippos coach Byekwaso said after the victory over Kenya.

“I thank the boys for the input. I pray to God that He blesses us for the final because whoever reaches the final, winning is what makes him happy. Everyone will be focusing on the trophy we have all been fighting for.”
His side took a 3-0 lead in the semifinal yesterday after striker Ivan Bogere raced onto an Isma Mugulusi pass to give the Hippos the lead that was doubled by Busoga United defender Kenneth Semakula.

Bogere then added a second from the penalty spot in the second half to take his tournament tally to four goals in three games before Kenya scored their consolation late on.
After years of lukewarm interest and many times complete inactivity, the country and the current federation can now rightly boast of historical achievements after successive qualification campaigns in under age competitions.

Last year the national U-17 team, the Cubs, managed the country’s a first ever Afcon appearance at the continental stage, missing out on qualification to the World Cup by a point after finishing third behind Nigeria and Angola.
Several players from that said, including captain Gavin Kizito Mugweri, were promoted and will be part of Byekwaso’s side seeking glory in Tanzania.
Others are goalkeeper Jack Komakech, Najib Yiga, Ivan Asaba and Isma Mugulusi.