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CECAFA U20 Women: Ethiopia lifts Cup, FUFA President asks Uganda team to rise up again

FUFA President to Uganda U-20 Women team: Let’s rise up again

FUFA President Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim has called upon the entire Uganda U-20 Women’s Contingent to plan on how to rise up again following events at the FUFA Technical Centre that saw the hosts surrender a healthy 2-0 half time lead to lose the title to Ethiopia. Uganda needed just a draw to lift the inaugural CECAFA U-20 Women’s cup and headed into the final match of the evening on top of the table but the tide changes from better to worse as they conceded three second half goals to hand Ethiopia the win and the title on home soil.

‘Let us go back and plan. We are proud of the efforts shown by the entire team during the tournament. FUFA is happy that this championship has helped the entire team to prepare by playing 5 matches ahead of the FIFA U20 Women world cup qualifiers’ said FUFA President who talked to the players in one of the corners of the pitch at Njeru.

‘We are hurt by the result as we had the control of the game but that is football. We can’t win all the time. We should rise up again and look to the future. Our team is strong enough to create more history’ added Magogo who also carried a big pack of chocolates. He also revealed that despite the loss, the bonus which had been put aside (1.5M) for each member of the contingent had they won the Cup, would still be given out.

Uganda U-20 Women’s team finished runners up to Champions Ethiopia

Head coach Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi speaks out

‘I think there is something I did not do right. It was not our day but that is football and everything is possible. I was so disappointed and I must say it was a disappointing result. It is hard to take in this result. It is unbelievable. I repeat it is unbelievable. We only needed a draw and led the first half by two goals only to be shocked in the second half by a team that strongly believed in what they wanted’ said Ayub Khalifan.

‘The girls lost concentration in the second half, that was the time we needed to hold our cool and control the game but instead, we lost track and we were severely punished. Everything happens for a reason. We have to stand up as soon as possible and not take long lamenting on what happened. We have to pick positives from the tournament and move forward.

Ethiopia are the winners of the inaugural CECAFA Women’s U-20 Championship.

The tournament played on a League format among the six teams and climaxed on Tuesday with Ethiopia coming out top with 15 points, while hosts Uganda finished second with 12 points.

Talk about late moments in sport and the Ethiopian team showed exactly that in the final deciding game against the hosts when they fought from two goals down and one player less after an early red card, but managed to win 3-2 at the FUFA technical Centre ground in Njeru.

Ethiopia’s first choice goalkeeper Lorato Eyerusalem was sent off after only six minutes for bringing down Uganda’s captain Fuazia Najjemba who was headed for goal. But Ethiopia’s head coach Firew Hailegebral made a tactical switch pulling out one player and bringing on second choice goalkeeper Demelash Banchayehu.

Hadijah Nandago gave Uganda the lead after 26 minutes with a well taken shot before skipper Fauzia Najjemba increased the lead after 40 minutes. Goalkeeper Banchayehu failed to get a firm grip of Najjemba’s freekick and the ball bounced into the net.

After recess and a pep talk by the coach and Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) President Esayas Jira, the Ethiopian team returned a different and determined side.

Ridet Assrasahang pulled one back for the Ethiopian team after 50 minutes.

Substitute Ariet Odong who came on and took control of Ethiopia’s attack leveled matters after 78 minutes with a well placed shot leaving Uganda’s goalkeeper Daphine Nyayenga beaten.

Ethiopia’s head coach Firew Hailegebral was also sent off by the referee.

Despite being one player-less the Ethiopian team continued to dominate play and put the Ugandan defenders under a lot of pressure. With eight minutes to the final whistle Turist Lema slotted in Ethiopia’s third goal.

It was all celebrations after the final whistle as the Ethiopian players were so emotional that they cried in joy. “This has been a very tough game and I thank my team for remaining strong headed even after we got an early red card,” said Ethiopia’s coach Hailegebral after the match.

In an earlier match Burundi came from a goal down to beat Eritrea 2-1. Reha Tesfamichael netted after 2 minutes for Eritrea, but Stephie Mutoni and Peace Niyomwungere made sure Burundi picked maximum points.

Tanzania were also in good form humbling Djibouti 8-0. Aisha Masaka netted seven goals, while Clara Luvanga also got her name on the score sheet.

The top three teams received medals, and the best players were also rewarded. Uganda’s skipper Fauzia Najjemba who finished the tournament with 11 goals scooped the Top scorer’s Award. Uganda’s Daphine Nyayenga was voted Best goalkeeper, while Ethiopia’s Birkea Amare was the Best Player of the tournament.

Auka Gecheo, the CECAFA Executive Director said the tournament has been successful and helped teams that are still in contention in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers prepare well.

Additional info by CAF Website

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