Uganda in a do-Or -die with Rwanda in Cecafa U18 semis
By Emmanuel Sekago
Uganda face unpredictable Rwanda in the semi finals of the ongoing Cecafa U18 boys championship in Kisumu City on Tuesday.
To progress to the next level, Uganda U18 national team showcased their prowess in a gripping encounter against South Sudan with a well-deserved 2-0 victory in the last group stage match. The thrilling battle saw Uganda clinch a spot in the semifinals of the CECAFA U18 Boys Championship finishing top of Group ‘B’ with a maximum of six points in three games, win over Zanzibar (2-1), South Sudan (2-0) and a loss against Tanzania (0-1).
Rwanda were second in Group ‘A’ while a 2-0 over South Sudan on Saturday propelled Uganda to the top of Group ‘B’.
In the other semi-final, Group ‘A’ winners and host nation Kenya will face off with Tanzania. after finishing top of Group ‘A’ with a maximum of nine points and 10 goals from wins over Sudan (5-0), Rwanda (1-0) and Somalia (4-1).
Tanzania and Zanzibar played to a 1-1 draw in their last group ‘B’ match, which left them tied on four points each while scoring and conceding the same number of goals.
According to the rules of the competition (regulation 3.6) teams are ranked according to the points, head-to-head, goal difference between the concerned teams, goals scored, fair play, and eventually, a toast.
So, the Fair Play criterion was used to separate the two with Tanzania’s discipline giving the edge. They had four yellow cards as opposed to Zanzibar’s five.
The Uganda head coach ,Byekwaso Ochama said he is happy with the performance of the players’ adaptability and aggression against South Sudan and is now focusing on the semifinal against Rwanda.
“It wasn’t an easy game, we started with pressure and created a lot of chances in the first half but didn’t take them away. We told them to insist on doing that and eventually, we got what we wanted.”
“We now need to prepare well ahead of our semifinal match against Rwanda,” he added.
Meanwhile, The play-off to determine the third team and the final will be played on December 8th in Kisumu City.
Uganda vs Rwanda @11am
Kenya vs Tanzania @3pm.