Hippos head coach Morley Byekwaso is optimistic his side will bounce back and win their next game at the on-going CECAFA U20 Championships.
The Uganda U20 side drew 1-1 with Eritrea on Saturday in what was their first game at the tournament.
Proline FC striker Ivan Bogere opened the scoring with a poked-in effort on 37 minutes but despite dominating proceedings, the Hippos conceded 12 minutes into the second half to share spoils in the end.
It was a game that promised so much for the team as they created more and better chances but could only burry one.
KCCA FC striker Sadat Anaku was guilty of missing the lion share of the chances, most notably missing from a one-on-one situation inside the opening ten minutes.
The likes of Hassan Ssenyonjo and substitute Steve Sserwadda also failed to score from good positions as Eritrea held on to what had early seemed like an unlikely point.
Speaking after the game, Byekwaso noted that despite not winning, he was happy about his team’s performance.
“Everyone who watched the game saw that we played well, said Byekwaso at the post match press conference.
“We created nine clear chances but the boys are still shy but I will talk to them and ensure they overcome the issue.
“Otherwise, the game was ok although we did not score.
“We will go back and correct mistakes so as we want to win the next game.”
The contest was indeed ok with the Hippos having more control over the proceedings and pegging Eritrea back.
Much od the dominance was down to Kenneth Ssemakula who provided proper cover to the back-line and also linked up play with the forwards.
However, Ssemakula was a surprise inclusion in midfield as he is known to be a center-back at club side Busoga United.
Asked about the decision to play Ssemakula in midfield, Byekwaso had this to say;
“Ssemakula is a good ball player.
“I had a week to look at him and impressed me and i think he is a player who will be of good service to the nation in the next few years.”
Uganda was without playmaker Bright Anukani for the game against Eritrea.
The Proline FC player who is expected to be available in the next game, was away with the CHAN team that defeated Burundi 3-0 in Bujumbura on the same day.
Speaking about Anukani, Byekwaso claimed that his team did not miss the youthful playmaker.
“I do not think we missed Anukani because everyone had a good game and we are happy although we did not score.
Our target and focus is tow in the next game against Djibouti and we are optimistic that we will get the desired result especially after the sort of performance we put out today.”
The Hippos will return to action on Tuesday against Djibouti, a game that they need to win in order to ease up on the pressure that started mounting on them after the draw on Saturday.