Afcon U20: Uganda to play Burkina Faso in quarater-finals

Uganda U20 player Derrick Kakooza vs Mozambique.
The Hippos qualified after finishing second in their pool while the West Africans topped their group to make it to the last eight

Uganda will play Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania.

The Hippos sealed their place in the last eight after finishing second in Group A behind leaders Cameroon. They will now play the Burkinabes who finished top of Group B.

The East Africans started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Mozambique. Derrick Kakooza and Steven Sserwadda scored the goals for the Morley Byekwaso-led charges.

In their second game, the U20 Cecafa champions fell to Cameroon by a solitary goal scored by Junior Jang. 

Their final game was against the competition hosts Mauritania. The hosts got an opener in the first half when Silly Sanghare scored from a penalty before the Hippos equalised on the hour mark courtesy of Serrwadda. 

Derrick Kakooza scored the winner for the East Africans deep into the second half to seal a place in the knockout stage.

On the other hand, Burkina Faso started their campaign with a stalemate against Tunisia before defeating the Central African Republic 3-1. Their final game against Namibia ended 1-0 in their favour.

The two teams will now meet on February 26 with the winner sealing a semi-final berth.

After a 2-1 win over Mauritania, coach Morley Byekwaso explained what he had done to ensure his team won the game.

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

"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." 

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Aziz Kayondo, who won the man of the match award, explained how they planned to tackle their opponents.

"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."