Kakooza Derrick wrote history for himself and the nation by bagging a sensational hattrick at the ongoing Afcon U-20 finals in Cameroon.
Kakooza’s displays buried a teary affair by the senior side at the CHAN side at the finals where they came short at the early stages of the tournament hosted by Morocco.
Uganda will play Ghana in the final game of the Afcon U-20 tournament on Saturday.
New African Gem
Unlike Jonathan Mckinstry whose team looked unbalanced and undisciplined at the Afcon finals, Hippos, Hippos appeared a well-drilled side. Yet under Abdallah Mubiru, the team easily sailed to the finals without the panic that we were treated to by Mckinstry.
Hippos Solid Display
The Hippos Right from the back, with Jack Komakech in goal shielded by team captain Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Kenneth Ssemakula, Ramathan Musa and Aziz Kayondo, looked solid and unshaken.
In the middle of the pack, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Isama Mugulusi and Steven Sserwadda were composed and their quick passing contributed a great deal to the team’s success at the end of the day.
The cunning decision by Byekwaso to play Derrick Kakooza, and Najib Yiga ahead of Sam Ssenyonjo and Ivan Asaba along with Richard Basangwa paid untold dividends.
Unlike Abdallah Mubiru who was denied the opportunity to unleash his tactics at Afcon U-20, the assistant KCCA FC manager’s side has been hailed by pundits across the tournament as one of the most attacking and exciting sides at Cameroon.
Byekwaso who has had experience playing and coach against Arab opponents at his club KCC FC and now KCCA FC had little to worry about throughout the night.
The man at the opposite bench evoked the sad memories of the 9-1 whitewashing by Tunisia’s Club Esperance in 1997. This was a stage set for Byekwaso to thrive and prove himself at the biggest stage of African football.
Art And Craft
Uganda’s goals were fashioned in an artistic manner with clear team work involved at every stage. Richard Basangwa and Kakooza were unmanageable for Tunisia’s shaky defence when they combined for the team’s opening two goals.
Basangwa’s pace in particular was the turning point for the team. His goal was full of energy, receiving the ball at the edge of the opposition box and leaving Tunisia defenders flatfooted before pouncing on goal.
Then again Basangwa used his pace to dash into the box before unleashing a thundering ball into the goalkeeper’s area to meet Kakooza to thump home for the team’s second goal before Adam Karim Benlamine replied for Tunisia.
Byekwaso built his play in a way that Tunisia and other sides in this team found hard to comprehend. The team played quick short passes and capped it with long balls to pick their fast moving forwards.
The third goal saw Vipers SC midfield gem Bobosi receiving the ball from Musa before throwing a long ball to pick Kakooza whose header left Morocco shot stopper standing still.
Uganda’s fourth by the same boy put the game beyond recovery and handed the East African country another final with a familiar opponent in Ghana who denied them a trophy at the senior level in 1978 in Accra.
Uganda Hippos Starting Line Up: Jack Komakech (GK), Gavin Kizito (C), Musa Ramathan, Kenneth Semakula, Bobsi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda, Richard Basangwa, Najib Yiga and Derrick Kakooza
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Award winning journalist and writer who has worked as a stringer for a couple of acclaimed South Africa based German journalists, covered 3 Ugandan elections, 2008 Kenya election crisis, with interests in business and sports reporting.