2021 finalists, Uganda, defeated 2021 quarter-finalists Central African Republic 2-1.
Facing off for the first time in this competition, Uganda Hippos beat Les Fauves of CAR in their opening Group B encounter of the 2023 TotalEnergies Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations on Monday in Egypt.
Isma Mugulusi opened the scoring for Uganda after the restart, with John Pembe making it a two-goal cushion before Boris Gbenou grabbed a consolation goal at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismaila. Uganda now tops Group B provisionally while South Sudan vs Congo Rep. is set for 6:00 pm GMT+1 at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismaila. Uganda will face Congo on February 23 before ending their group campaign against South Sudan on Feb 26.
A goalless first-half between the Hippos and les Fauves left the Ugandas frustrated despite the stats being in their favour with more shots on target, more possession and better passing accuracy.
After the restart, a stunning finish from skipper Isma Mugulusi picking up an assist from Titus Ssematimba broke the deadlock in the 47th minute for the Hippos. Uganda doubled their lead following a stunning solo effort from John Paul Dembe following a through ball from Apollo Kagogwe with a beautiful curler in the 73rd minute. Despite les Fauves injecting fresh blood in trying to look for an equalizer, with the introduction of Juvenal Pouguy and Tony Biakolo; CAR finally pulled one back in the dying moments of the game through Boris Gbenou assisted by Fanuel Koyakogue.
That proved to be the last scoring opportunity for both teams as the Uganda Hippos held on for a resounding 2-1 victory on Day1.
Impressive from the Uganda U-20 – Leave alone the win but the football on display was truly free flowing with very nice patterns of play. They convincingly dominated CAR. The Uganda FA can take credit for the impressive performances from the junior side. This is a football project surely.
Player Of The Match
Rogers Mugisha (Uganda) – He was a handful for CAR on the left-side of the attack for Uganda. A real livewire, although he wasn’t on the scoresheet, but his team performed according to the tempo he dictated from the onset.
Uganda: Abdu Magada (GK); Lukwago, Kagogwe, Torach, Juma; Mugulusi, Irinimbabazi, Ssematimba; Mutyaba, Dembe, Mugisha.
Subs: Kakande, Lutalo, Mukisa.
CAR: Abimala Mauril (GK); Betto, Namgbema, Gbamodo, Koyakogue; Alban, Galabazi, Mamfeina, Banam; Gbenou, Ayoumbi.
Subs: Pouguy, Ato-Zandanga, Ouagole, Biakolo, Ze.
• Uganda have won their two opening matches in two consecutive appearances.
• CAR have registered their second consecutive defeat after losing to Gambia 0-3 in the knockout stages of 2021 AFCON U-20.
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