The Hippos eliminated Tunisia to set a final date with Ghana in Mauritania on Saturday
U20 Uganda forward Derrick Kakooza is hopeful they will win the Africa U20 Cup of Nations title.
The Hippos, once again, defied odds to defeat Tunisia 4-1 to qualify for the last two at Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Monday night. A hat-trick from Derrick Kakooza and a strike from Richard Basangwa gave the East Africans a massive win over their opponents who scored through Ben Lamin.
The police FC youngster has also appreciated all those involved in ensuring he scored the goals that helped his team advance to the final.
“First of all I want to thank the Almighty God that I scored a hat-trick which helped us qualify for the final,” the teenager stated afterwards.
“And in a special way, I want to also thank my coaches and my teammates who have seen me achieve this because I am now the tournament’s top scorer with five goals.
“My instincts tell me that we are going to bring the trophy home; I, therefore, request our fans to continue praying for us so that we can complete the task.”
Earlier on, Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry also lauded the youngsters for their achievement in the annual competition.
“It is hard to find words exultant enough to praise these young men and all of the support staff,” McKinstry tweeted.
“[A] huge congratulations to coach Morley [Byekwaso] and all of the Uganda Hippos. Top class performance and a great night for Ugandan football. Onwards to the final.”
The U20 Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) champions will now play Ghana in the finals.
The West Africans are through to the last two in Mauritania following a 1-0 victory over Gambia. Precious Boah’s first-half effort decided the semi-final fixture at Stade Olympique in the city of Nouakchott.
Unlike previous editions of the tournament in recent times, there is no World Cup qualification reward for the semi-finalists following the cancellation of the global gathering slated for Indonesia this year due to health and safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana, who beat Tanzania 4-0 in their tournament opener and drew 0-0 with Morocco before bowing to Gambia in the group stage, will face the Hippos on Saturday in the final, in their quest for a fourth continental title.