Uganda cubs retain regional CECAFA U-17 title

Uganda Cubs celebrate after retaining the Cecafa U-17 title.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Cubs stopped Tanzania 3-1 to retain the regional CECAFA U-17 Cup in the final played on Tuesday at the Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda.

The Tanzanian side came all out with a defensive approach, but Oscar Mawa almost gave the Cubs the lead after 15 minutes, only for goalkeeper Abdallahi Hassani to block his shot.

Omari Yahaya almost gave Tanzania the lead after 30 minutes when his shot hit the pole and bounced off.

In the second half the Cubs intensified their search for goals and Ivan Irinimbabazi nodded in a well taken free kick by Vincent Mulema to give the Cubs the lead after 63 minutes.

The Tanzanian side tried to fight back, but failed to break the Ugandan back-line. With 10 minutes to full time Travis Mutyaba dribbled past three defenders and slotted in a low shot to make it 2-0.

The Cubs later conceded an own goal through Mulema who mistimed and cleared a ball into his gooalkeepr’s net after 88 minutes. But the high attacking Uganda Cubs team was not done yet and added a third goal through a penalty.

Defender Omari Yahaya brought down Mutyaba in the box, and skipper Ibrahim Juma converted the penalty on 90 minutes.

It was all celebration after the final whistle as the Ugandan players celebrated. “I am glad the players have achieved the objectives which were to qualify for the Afcon U-17 and retain our Cecafa trophy,” said a happy Uganda Cubs’ coach Hamuza Lutalo.

Besides the trophy and gold medals, Mutyaba was voted player of the tournament, while Oscar Mawa with six goals received the top scorers’ Award. Tanzania’s Slyvestre Otto picked the Fair Play Award. 

Earlier Ethiopia defeated 10-man Djibouti 5-2 to finish third and bag the bronze medals. The Cecafa U-17 Cup also acted as the Zonal qualifier for the Afcon U-17 to take place next March in Morocco. 

The competition attracted six teams after South Sudan where suspended after four of their players failed Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests conducted by a doctor sent by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

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URN

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