Uganda beats Kenya 2-1 to clinch 2023 CECAFA U18 title

Kenya took the lead in second half but Uganda equalised then added winner in extra time.

In Summary

• Kenyan's 66th-minute goal came courtesy of Syphas Otieno Owuor.

• Minutes later, Uganda returned the favour in the 77th-minute courtesy of a foul kick that found SC Villa Midfielder Batiibwe Okello

Uganda came from behind to beat hosts Kenya 2-1 on Friday to emerge the 2023 Cecafa U18 champions in the final game played at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Kisumu.

Kenya had taken an early second-half lead against the visitors through a 66th-minute goal courtesy of Syphas Otieno Owuor.

Immediately after a medical break, Owour received a long ball from Kenyan custodian Ibrahim Wanzala, controlled it perfectly before slotting it past the Ugandan keeper.

Momemts later, Uganda drew level in the 78th minute courtesy of a foul kick that found SC Villa Midfielder Batiibwe Okello in the box who easily beat Ibrahim between the posts.

The score line remained unchanged going into extra time despite concerted efforts by both sides to break the tie in the final minutes of the game.

But just 50 seconds into the first half of extra time, Uganda took the lead through SC Villa Midfielder Hakim Mutebi.

Kenya fought hard in a bid to restore parity but the Ugandan side remained resilient and held onto the lead until the final whistle.

Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen was among the fans in the parked stadium.

Kenya qualified for the final on Tuesday in the second semi final by beating Tanzania 4-3 on post match penalties after the two sides settled for a barren draw at regulation and extra time.

Uganda beat Rwanda 1-0 in the first semi final played at the same venue to reach the finals.

Both sides finished top of their individual groups with Kenya earning 9 points in Group A which comprised of Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan.

Uganda was top in Group B with 6 points in the group that also comprised Tanzania, Zanzibar and South Sudan.

Kenya's Junior Stars qualified for the semis on December 1, by seeing off Somalia 4-1 at the Bukhungu Stadium.

The boys kicked off their campaign in the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Sudan on Saturday, November 25, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium.

Aldrine Kibet’s decisive 37th minute strike from the edge of the box earned the youngsters a deserved 1-0 win against Rwanda in their second game against Rwanda on November 28.

Ahead of the final, head coach Salim Babu unveiled his first 11 starting with custodian Ibrahim Wanjala with Captain Amos Wanzala, Collins Ongou, Baron Ochieng and Joseph Onyango as defenders.

Stanley Omondi, Humphrey Aroko, Joseph Khisa and Elly Owande were his picks for the midfield while Louise Ingavi and Syphas Owuor marshalled the striking force.

Aldrine Kibet, Tyron Junior, Manzur Suleiman were the reserve players against the tough Young Uganda Cranes. 

Uganda's tactician Morley Byekwaso named a 23-man squad comprising three goalkeepers, seven defenders, eight midfielders and five forwards for the entire tournament. 

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