Uganda’s chances of defending the CECAFA Under 23 cup have been severely dealt a massive blow after a one-all draw with Tanzania at the Bahir-Dar International Stadium in Ethiopia.
From the start of the game, it looked like the Kobs were up to push their Coastal counterparts to the edge and claim a win with the team looking for an early goal to put one foot forward.
With the Kobs piling the pressure against the Tanzanians, Steven Mukwala was brought to the ground after 15 minutes, the referee made no mistake and handed the Kobs a penalty, which was missed by the talisman.
As the Ugandan side looked for their first goal while looking blunt on the attack, it was the regional rivals through Israel Bajana who broke the deadlock from the penalty with half an hour remaining, beating Charles Lukwago from twelve yards.
Uganda faced a massive mountain ahead of them with the pressure on, but their perseverance paid off when Mukwala made apologies for his earlier error with a good goal for the equalizer on 40 minutes.
In the second half, the team looked more organized and had the biggest chunk of the ball but all this was useless as the the Ugandan side just couldn’t create any signficant chances that could trouble the Tanzanian side’s defence and the goalkeeper.
With 20 minutes remaining, Byekwaso made his first substitutions, replacing Julius Poloto and Bright Anukani with Abdallah Salim and Ivan Bogere, but none of the moves made a difference.
What next for the Uganda U23 team?
Tanzania has finished its qualification into the semifinals of the tournament while defending Champions Uganda will have to wait for an opportunity to play against the Second placed side with the hopes of going passed them to realize an opportunity to get themselves back into the title contention.
Questions are beginning to popup from different corners whether coach Morley Byekwaso is the right man for the job considering the very poor kind form that his team have had in Ethiopia.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.