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African Games 2023: Uganda Hippos get perfect start with victory over Nigeria

Uganda U20 Men’s National Team began its journey at the African Games 2023 on a perfect note after overcoming Nigeria as the two teams faced off on Thursday at Accra Sports Stadium.

The Uganda Hippos put up a remarkable performance to edge Nigeria 2-1 in a closely contested game.

Arafat Usama Kizza and Ivan Irinimbabazi scored in either half to guide Uganda to victory. Nigeria got their consolation goal through Sadiq Muhammad Isiyaka.

Usama opened the scores in the 33rd minute with a clinical finish from close range after receiving a good pass from Allan Oyirwoth.

Oyirwoth ignited a counter attack from within his own half and ran beyond the centre line before releasing a long pass that set through Usama to score.

Nigeria were however able to level matters two minutes later from a corner kick with Isiyaka jumping high to head the ball into the back of the net.

After recess, Nigeria had attempts at Uganda’s goal but the defence line led by skipper Rogers Torach was alert to deny them.

Defender Ronald Madoi sustained an injury in the 71st minute and was replaced by Cyrus Kibande in what was Uganda’s first change.

With nine minutes to play, Irinimbabazi scored from a long range strike when Usama set him up.

A good exhange of passes, saw Usama play a cut back to Irinimbabzi who took a ferocious low drive into the back of the net.

Coach Morley Byekwaso made tactical changes towards the end of the game with Hakim Mutebi replacing Patrick Kakande, Alpha Thiery Ssali coming on in place of Usama while Innocent Kisolo replaced Abasi Kyeyune.

Uganda leads Group B on three points, same as Senegal who won 1-0 against South Sudan on the same day.

The Uganda Hippos will return to action on Monday, 11th March 2024 against Senegal at the same venue.

Uganda Hippos Starting XI

Abdu Magada (GK), Haruna Lukwago, Ibrahim Juma, Ronald Madoi (Cyrus Kibande), Rogers Torach (C), Ivan Irinimbabazi, Abasi Kyeyune, Allan Oyirwoth, Bruno Bunyaga, Arafat Kizza Usama(Alpha Thiery Ssali), Jonah Patrick Kakande (Hakim Mutebi)

Unused Substitutes
Shamulan Kamya (GK), Humprey Oyirwoth (GK), Apollo Kagogwe, Enock Luyima, Shafiq Magogo

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