Afcon U20: Byekwaso reveals how Uganda plotted vs Mauritania

Uganda U20 coach Morley Byekwaso.
The Hippos ended up winners of the decisive game after they picked up a late penalty that was converted by Derrick Kakooza

Uganda head coach Morley Byekwaso has revealed how they plotted to beat Mauritania during the U20 African Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Derrick Kakooza scored a late penalty to hand the Hippos a 2-1 win over the hosts and finally book a place in the knockout stage. Silly Sanghare scored for Mauritania while the other goal for the Hippos was scored by Steven Sserwadda.

Byekwaso said they analysed the North Africans intricately before the decisive group match that ended in their favour.

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"I am really thankful and I feel honoured to have seen the team qualify," Byekwaso said as was quoted by Caf Online in his post-match conference.

"The game was very tough because Mauritania showed that they are a good team in this tournament and they play fast and entertaining football.

"We analysed them from how we saw them play their first two matches and we knew they press high and the only way to beat them was to play the balls directly to our strikers. It worked well because we put them under pressure." 

Uganda's Aziz Kayondo, who won the man of the match award, explained how they planned to tackle Mauritania despite the fact they knew it was not going to be an easy adventure.

"As a team, we are very delighted to qualify for the quarter-finals," he said. "We knew it was going to be a tough match but we played with a lot of discipline and took the instructions from the coach with a lot of seriousness. 

"We also worked hard and played together as a team because we knew we would be facing a very tough Mauritania side. Everyone worked hard for this win from the technical bench to the players and this led to good performance in the match. 

"I am also so excited to win this man of the match award and I believe now I need to work hard to win more."

Mauritania's coach Mauril Njoya said he was disappointed that his side failed to progress into the quarter-finals despite giving a good account of themselves.

"I feel really sad because we couldn’t qualify. We gave in a good fight on the pitch and I am pleased with my players," said Njoya.

"We had some small mistakes that cost us the game and, I think this was a bit due to inexperience. 

"We have a very young team and most are playing at this tournament for the first time."

Uganda joined Cameroon in the knockout stage after they beat  Mozambique 4-1. Etienne Eto'o, son of former Barcelona and Inter Milan star Samuel Eto'o, scored two of Cameroon's goals as they emerged victors again to finish at the top of the group.