Uganda Under 20 national team and their counterparts from Ghana face off in less than two hours from now in the 2021 Total Afcon U-20 final.
The Uganda Hippos seek to win the trophy on their first attempt while the Satellites are hunting for championship number four.
However as the two teams get ready for a show down at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott, Mauritania, let us take a look at some of the players and key battles to watch;
Percious Boah (Ghana) vs Musa Ramadhan (Uganda)
Boah has been Ghana’s main man upfront and with three goals in the tournament so far, he is expected to be the firing man in the final. The burly Ghanaian forward has shown an eye for goal not only from open play but set pieces as well.
Ugandan central defender, Musa Ramadhan is expected to have his busiest night in the tournament against the active and disruptive Boah.
Ramadhan has been a consistent figure in the Ugandan backline, playing every minute of every match from the opening game and he has anchored the defence to only concede thrice, once each against Cameroon, Mauritania and Tunisia.
Derrick Kakooza (Uganda) vs Frank Kwabena Assinki (Ghana)
Two penalties against Mozambique and Mauritania and a hattrick against Tunisia have propelled Uganda’s Kakooza to the top of the scoring charts and a firm grip on the tournament’s Golden Boot.
While many would have easily dismissed him after the first few matches, the hattrick against Tunisia, all goals well taken have definitely thrust the 18-year old Police FC striker on the limelight.
Once again, Uganda will look up to him as the point man upfront as they look to crack in some goals and a match up against Ghanaian centre back Kwabena will be one to watch out for.
Emmanuel Essiam (Ghana) vs Bobosi Byaruhanga
Both Uganda and Ghana love to play the possession type of football and all this is usually dictated from the middle of the pack. This is an area that will be hugely battled for both sides who will want to be the ones dictating play.
Uganda’s Byaruhanga has proven to be a ball magnet for the Hippos and it is no wonder he has been included in the Uganda Cranes squad for the upcoming Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The midfielder’s range of passing, his vision and work rate has been immense for Uganda so far in the tournament.
Ghana’s Essiam has been a workhorse for the Black Satellites especially in winning possession in midfield and providing a shield for the defence.
The two will offer an eye catching battle in midfield as each looks to dictate the tempo for his side.
Other players to watch.
Ghana – Abdul Fatawu Isahaku has continued to be a constant threat with his left foot throughout the tournament. With two goals so far, the pint sized midfielder has offered attacking danger for the Ghanaians with his passing and ability on set pieces.
Also, if a man is to be relied upon coming off the bench, then it would be Frank Boateng. The striker has been a good impact player and scored the equalizer in the 1-1 draw with Cameroon in regulation time during the quarters and if he does not start in the final, he might be the man to change the face of things, if Ghana need him off the bench.
Uganda – Left back Abdu Azizi Kayondo is the exact modern fullback any coach would want in his squad. The Vipers SC man has been crucial for Uganda both defensively and offensively and his indefatigable runs all over the left channel will be key for the Ugandans.
Richard Basangwa has been Uganda’s unsung hero in attack and his work of linking up midfield play to attack was particularly crucial in the victory over Tunisia in the semi finals. He will once again be looked upon to provide the key passes and defense splitting runs that will open up the Ghanaian defense. (Part of this article was extracted from the CAF website)