CECAFA U20 Championships
Uganda vs Eritrea
Peace War Memorial Stadium, Gulu
Saturday, 21-09-2019 @4pm
The Uganda national U20 football team, the Hippos will be hoping for three points when they take on Eritrea at the Peace Stadium in their opening game of the 2019 CECAFA U17 Championships.
Morely Byekwaso’s side have under gone intense preparations for the tournament, camping for close to two weeks and are expected to take care of their opening opponents.
The expectations are high on the team, having won the last edition in 2010 and according to Byekwaso, his side is focused and ready for the challenge.
“Our team is prepared well and focused that we take on the opponents, noted Byekwaso at the pre-match press conference on Friday.
“We are injury free and know that we have six hurdles to jump so as to win this championship.
“We know every team will fight on each given day.”
Byekwaso has been blessed with a team that has got talent in abundance.
Most of the players in the set-up are already playing in the top tier of Uganda’s football league. The others have been in the Juniors’ league and were part of the U17 team that took part in the 2019 AFCON championships in Tanzania.
Captain Gavin Kizito was in Tanzania and expects the team to play well throughout the tournament.
“Most of us are from the youth set up having played in the FUFA Juniors League and for the national U17 team, said Kizito ahead of the game.
“We expect to play well throughout the tournament and with one heart to win the trophy at home.
“We have prepared well and shall follow the coaches’ instructions.”
The Hippos played two high profile build-up games as they prepared for the finals tournament.
They walloped Busoga United 6-0 before drawing 0-0 with the Uganda Cranes CHAN team.
This is the second time Uganda is hosting the U20 CECAFA Championships. The first dates back to 1975 when Kenya won their first title after beating Tanzania in the final.
However, despite not winning it on home soil, Uganda has triumphed three title in the competition. They first won it in 1793 in Kenya then won a second title in 2006 before winning the last edition in 2010.
Eritrea are trying to win the competition for the first time in its history. Their best performance came in 2010 when they lost to Uganda in the finals played in their homeland.
The other game on Saturday will see Sudan take on Djibouti at the same venue at 2pm.
The Hippos team at CECAFA U20
Jack Komakech (Soccer for Good), Dennis Otim (Mbarara FC) & Patrick Mubiru (B stars)
Kevin Ssekimbegga (Express FC), Justine Opiro(KCCA JT), Aziz Kayondo (Vipers SC), Robert Kitabalwa (St Mary’s Kitende), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Semakula (Busoga United), Derrick Kigundu (Buddo SS)
Joseph Kafumbe (KCCA FC), Davis Ssekajja (B Stars), Hassan Senyonjo (Wakiso Giants), Bright Anukani (Proline FC(, Steven Sserwadda (KCCA FC)
Sadat Anaku (KCCA FC), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga Utd), Ivan Bogere (Proline FC), Ivan Asaba (St Mary’s Kitende), Maseruka Sadam (Bul FC), Najib Yiga (Vipers JT)