The Uganda Cubs have beaten Djibouti 1-0 in the first of the 2020 Cecafa Under – 17 semi finals held at the Umaganda Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda on Sunday afternoon.
Oscar Mawa scored the only goal in the 89th minute after numerous attemps by the Ugandan boys had proved futile.
In the 2018 AFCON U17 Zonal Qualifiers in Tanzania, Uganda beat Djibouti 8-0 and there was hope that they could produce a similar performance but it wasn’t the case.
Despite looking threatening from the first whistle, Uganda had failed to break up her opponents for the biggest part of the game.
And as a result, coach Hamza Lutalo and his boys started pressing on a panic button as Djibouti grew in confidence.
In the first half,Mawa had put the ball into the net but was judged to be offside. was disallowed for offside.
The Cubs continued to race forward as Djibouti did the defending and the story went on until the 89th minute.
Even when they dominated, tore apart the back of Djibouti, goalkeeper Osman Youssouf stood big denied the Ugandans.
Meanwhile to prove their worth, Djibouti didn’t stop at defending only. They had moments when they threatened in the Cubs’ half.
Soultan Kadir Soultan had a couple of chances for Djibouti on the counter and at some time forced a save from Uganda’s goalkeeper Henry Mwebe at the near post.
The moment that everyone on the Ugandan bench had been waiting for finally came.
Mawa found the back of the net a few minutes from the final whistle. He was played through by Mubiru and slotted past an onrushing Youssouf who wrongly timed his run.
Uganda has now become one of the two Cecafa regional representatives who will play in the U17 CAF finals that will be held in Morocco in July next year. It’s also the country’s second and back to back qualification after finishing third in 2019 in a tournament held in Tanzania.
The results means Uganda faces the winner between Ethiopia and Tanzania who play later today.
Henry Mwebe, Vincent Mulema, Juma Ibrahim, Ronald Madoi, Peter Gava, Ivan Irinimbazi, Samuel Madiba, Travis Mutyaba, Oscar Mawa, Issa Bugembe, Elvis Mwanje.