There is sense of satisfaction about the performance of the national Under-20 team Hippos at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations being played in Mauritania.
The Morley Byekwaso-coached side have competed admirably to reach the quarterfinals at the first time of asking to play Burkina Faso this evening.
Byekwaso has predicted a tight encounter and urged his team to add more fight if they are to progress to
“We need to do more we need to be more committed. We need to fight a lot,” Byekwaso said ahead of the game. The Hippos qualified after finishing second in group A behind winners Cameroon with 2-1 and 2-0 victories over Mozambique and Mauritania respectively.
They suffered a 1-0 reverse against Cameroon in a game in which they matched the physicality of their opponents only to be let down by a lapse in concentration to concede from a corner.
Byekwaso is expecting a similar approach from today’s opponents who topped their group to qualify.
“They are a very good side and we are expecting a game which is very tough like the one we played against Cameroon. West Africans tend to play the same game and I think it is going to be very hard but we hope to play well because the team is now in good shape. The team that will play better will take the day,” Byekwaso observed.
He is expected to stick with the lineup that started the come from behind win over Mauritania especially after forwards Steven Sserwadda, Sam Senyonjo and Ivan Asaba showed more signs of coordination upfront.
That could mean a place on the bench for forward Ivan Bogere who top scored in qualifying with five goals but is yet to get off the mark.
Derrick Kakooza and Sserwadda have since picked the goal scoring boots with two goals each.
The Burkinabes topped Group B with seven points after two wins and a draw.
Meanwhile, the under-17 national team, the Cubs, have been drawn in group A of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations alongside hosts Morocco.
Ivory Coast and Zambia complete the group for coach Hamza Lutalo’s side. Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria and Congo Brazzaville comprise group B.
Group C has champions Cameroon, Senegal, Mali and South Africa.
Afcon U20 Quarterfinals
Burkina Faso vs Uganda,
Today at 10pm
Stade Cheikha Ould Boidiya