Derrick Kakooza starred with a hattrick as Uganda Hippos continued with their dream run at the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), beating Tunisia 4-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Monday to book a date against Ghana in Saturday’s final.
Kakooza, duly named man of the match, moved clear of Ghana’s Percious Boah in the race for the Golden Boot, his hattrick against the Tunisians taking his tally in the tournament to five. He scored one in the first half and two in the second, adding on to Richard Basangwa’s early opener.
The CECAFA champions led 2-1 at the break, Basangwa’s left foot causing all the damage for the Tunisians with a goal and an assist cutting back a cross that Kakooza gleefully tapped into an empty net.
But Tunisia halved the deficit just two minutes on the turn when Benlamine tapped into the net from close range after keeper Jack Komakech had pushed Chiheb Labidi’s flick off a Zied Berrima corner against the upright.
At the start of second half, Kakooza scored his second with a looping header after his run behind the defense was picked out by the impressive Byaruhanga.
Off a resultant corner, Uganda were away on the counter attack and they made it 4-1, putting the game to bed. Skipper Gavin Kizito looped the ball forward and Bogere controlled and put Kakooza through, the forward striding through on goal to slide in the fourth and his fifth of the tournament.
There was no way back for the young Carthage Eagles as Uganda took control of the tempo of the game, calming down the pace and managing the time well.
Uganda will face Ghana in the U20 AFCON final on Saturday March 6, 2021.