Uganda U20 coach Morley Byekwaso believes his charges had revenge after defeating Tanzania 4-1 to win the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) U20 championship.
The Hippos got the goals from Richard Basangwa, Steven Sserwada, Ivan Bogere, and Kenneth Semakule while the immediate former champions scored their only goal via Abdul Suleiman. It was sweet revenge for the Hippos who had lost 4-2 to Ngorongoro Heroes in last year's quarter-finals.
"Tanzania defeated us in Uganda and beat us 4-2 in the quarter-finals last year," Byekwaso said after helping his charges to victory in Dar es Salaam.
"They celebrated a lot, we had the pain and that is why we made terrible revenge [on Wednesday].
"The boys have fought from the beginning to the end, we were expecting a hard game and we knew it was going to be tough. It being a final, it was open to anyone.
"We thank God, the almighty for what he has done for us. I am so happy and grateful, I thank God once again for what He has done for me and what He has done for the team and nation at large."
In the final game, Uganda looked a dominant side all through and got the opener in the 12th minute from Basangwa’s strike. The Ngorongoro Heroes fought back and equalised at the half-hour mark from Suleiman’s effort before Sserwada scored the second for Uganda in the 44th minute.
The Hippos came from the half-time break more determined to bag the title and deservedly added the third goal in the 61st minute through Bogere. Semakule scored the final goal in the 72nd minute to seal Uganda’s victory against the hosts.
Both Uganda and Tanzania sailed to the final lap without losing a match, setting the stage for what was expected to be an epic final game in Arusha.
After reaching the finals, the two countries sealed their ticket for the U20 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Meanwhile, Kenya were defeated in the third-place playoffs by South Sudan when they went down 2-1 at the same venue.
It was the second loss the Rising Stars registered in the tournament after Uganda had beaten them 3-1 in the first semi-final.
South Sudan went ahead in the second minute courtesy of Phillip Biajo’s goal but Stanley Okumbi’s side fought and equalised in the 10th minute when Nicholas Ochieng found the back of the net.
Nelson Elia scored five minutes prior to the half-time break to give South Sudan the lead yet again and Rising Stars’ concerted efforts in the second half were not able to help them level matters.