Uganda Hippos players celebrate a goal against Burundi. Uganda won 6-1 in that game.

AFCON U-20 Qualifiers (CECAFA Zone)

Semi-finals: Monday, 30th November 2020

  • Uganda Vs Kenya – Black Rhino Academy, Karatu (12 PM)
  • Tanzania Vs South Sudan – Black Rhino Academy, Karatu (3:30 PM)

Football battles between Uganda and Kenya time immemorial have never been a walk in the park.

Such games are always physical, well contested and always too close to predict as small details also determine the victor.

The two countries once again face off in the first kick off of the two semi-finals of the 2020 U-20 Challenge Cup at the Black Rhino Academy in Karatu, Tanzania.

Uganda topped group B with 4 points following a goal-less draw in the opener against South Sudan and a comprehensive 6-1 victory against Burundi during the second day.

Uganda’s head coach Morley Byekwaso is wary of the physicality of the Kenyans but is hopeful that their natural skills will counter the opponents.

“We are ready for the semi-final against Kenya because everyone is aware this match takes us to AFCON U-20 finals. The Kenyans play a physical game but we have players who are equal to the task at hand” Byekwaso, who is also assistant coach at KCCA Football Club disclosed.

Uganda U-20 Morley Byekwaso talks to the media in Tanzania (Credit: FUFA Media)

Uganda Hippos is glad they they will welcome back from suspension defender Musa Ramathan who was red-carded against South Sudan during the opening game.

They will however play a cautious game because Raymond Onyai and Isma Mugulusi could be suspended for the next match if yellow carded.

Uganda will build on the confidence coming from their 6-1 win against Burundi last week.

Ascent Academy goalkeeper Jack Komakech, the defenders Gavin Kizito (captain), Aziz Kayondo, Kenneth Ssemakula and the returning Ramathan shall be expected to produce their “A” game performance.

Isma Mugulusi, Azizi Kayondo andI van Bogere celebrate one of Uganda Hippos’ goals against Burundi. The trio are expected to all start against Kenya on Monday (Credit: FUFA Media)

Byekwaso has varying options in the midfield with a number of players available for selection as Bobosi Byaruhanga (holding midfielder), Ivan Asaba, Steven Sserwadda, Alpha Thierry Ssali, Najib Yiga and Joseph Kizza Bukenya.

Isma Mugulusi, Ivan Bogere and Onyai are all available for selection on the forward line.

Uganda traveled from Arusha to Karatu on Sunday after the morning training.

They then checked in at Bougainvillea Safari Lodge in Karatu.

Uganda – Kenya kicks off by noon ahead of the second semi-final between Tanzania and South Sudan at 3:30 p.m.

The two finalists will thus make the grade for the AFCON U-20 finals that will be staged in Mauritania come 2021.

Uganda U-20 Probable XI Vs Kenya: Jack Komakech (G.K), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Aziz Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Isma Mugulusi, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Richard Basangwa, Najib Yiga, Ivan Bogere, Ivan Asaba

Subs: Denis Ssenyondwa Kaala (G.K), Richard Bbosa, Ashiraf Mulindi, Faisal Wabyoona, Joseph Kafumbe, Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Raymond Onyai, Alpha Thierry Ssali, Steven Sserwadda

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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