October 23, 2021

U20 Afcon: Byekwaso reacts after Uganda U20 draw with URA

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The youngsters will play UPL champions Vipers SC in another friendly game on Sunday

U20 Uganda coach Morley Byekwaso was impressed with the way his charges played during a 1-1 draw in a friendly game against URA FC.

The Hippos are using the match to prepare for the Africa U20 Cup of Nations to be played from February 14 in Mauritania.

Stephen Mukwala opened the scoring in favour of the Ugandan Premier League side in the 42nd minute.

The Cecafa U20 champions replied with five minutes to go courtesy of Derrick Kakooza, who headed in a corner after the goalkeeper’s howler.

It was the second build-up match the Hippos were playing after a 4-3 win over KCCA FC earlier.

“We finished our second last friendly game against URA, it was not an easy game but the boys responded well,” Byekwaso said after analysing the way his charges played.

“We are still trying some because I have been rotating the players to find out who can play better, who can have the winning mentality and the strengths to last for the minutes they have been given.  

“All in all, the friendly game was so good. We are now going to focus so much on the team which is giving us results in [Sunday’s] game against Vipers SC which is our last game.”

After the friendly against the Venoms, the final 25-man squad will be named ahead of the biennial competition.

Uganda have been pooled in Group A, and the Hippos will have to battle for a quarter-final berth with hosts Mauritania, Central African heavyweights Cameroon and Mozambique.

Tanzania, who lost in the Cecafa final to Uganda, have been placed in a tough Group C that features Ghana, Gambia and Morocco while Group B has Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Namibia, and the Central African Republic.

The two winners from each group will be guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals of the biennial competition alongside the two best third-place finishers from any of the three groups.

Mali are the defending champions after beating Senegal 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular time.

However, neither of the two nations will be in Mauritania for the competition which will take place until March 4.