Uganda Kobs head coach Morley Byekwaso

Uganda Kobs’s matches at CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup:

  • Uganda 0-0 Democratic Republic of Congo (Group A)
  • Uganda 1-1 Tanzania (Group A)
  • Uganda 1-0 Democratic Republic of Congo (Classification)
  • Uganda 2-1 Eritrea (Classification)

Uganda U-23 national team (Kobs) finished fifth at the 2021 CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup in Bahir Dar city, Ethiopia.

The Kobs won two games and drew twice in the four matches played.

Uganda opened with a goal-less stalemate against guest country Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in group A.

The second group game was another draw, 1-all with Tanzania as Uganda bowed out on two points and Tanzania progressed to the semi-finals.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) striker Steven Desse Mukwala scored a goal and missed a penalty as well.

Uganda Kobs Vs DR Congo (Credit: FUFA Media)

Classification matches:

In the first classification contest, Uganda once again faced Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), winning 1-0 courtesy of Vipers’ forward Najib Yiga’s solitary strike in the 45th minute.

The battle for the 5th and 6th places witnessed Uganda pip Eritrea 2-1 to settle for fifth position.

Yiga and Mukwala were once again on target in the 39th and 71st minutes respectively.

There are plenty of talking points and learning experiences for team Uganda.

First things first; the commendation goes to the team for avoiding defeat, scoring four goals and recording two wins in four matches.

Steven Desse Mukwala and Derrick Kakooza celebrate a goal at the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup in Ethiopia

Head coach Morley Byekwaso assembled more or less a consistent team right from the build-up matches in Saudi Arabia with more than 13 players involved.

Byekwaso acknowledges that there are important lessons learnt from the tournament.

“The tournament has exposed many young players. They have acquired experience which is worthy the talk going forward. For those heading to the CECAFA Kagame Cup, they will use the playing time experience acquired for the better” Byekwaso said.

Najib Yiga and Ivan Bogere celebrate a goal at the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup (Credit: FUFA Media)

Demands for efficiency in front of goal:

The newly appointed KCCA Football Club manager has demanded for efficiency in front of goal. He calls upon the center forwards to remain focused and determined by using the available chances created to good use.

“We should task our strikers to remain potent and convert all the goal scoring chances created. We need efficiency and in modern football, we need goals” he added.

There were a couple of constants throughout the four matches played in Ethiopia.

St George bound goalkeeper Charles Lukwago started all the matches and was only rested in the closing minutes of the final game for Denis Otim.

Steven Sserwadda takes on an opponent from Eritrea (Credit: FUFA Media)

Skipper Enock Walusimbi, Musa Ramathan, Azizi Kayondo (left back), Bobosi Byaruhanga, Yiga, Mukwala were involved in all the matches played.

Steven Sserwadda rested in the second group game against Tanzania after a knock in the DRC game but recovered swiftly to play in the rest of the games.

Wakiso Giants left back George Kaddu debuted for the national team against Eritrea but a troublesome hamstring denied him a decent finish in the game before Kayondo returned.

The team returns home on Friday aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

Meanwhile, Tanzania will face Burundi in Friday’s finale to determine the champion.

Uganda U-23 players celebrate one of their four goals at the 2021 CECAFA U-23 Challenge cup in Ethiopia (Credit: FUFA Media)

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

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