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Byekwaso Highlights Significance of First Game as Hippos look to defend CECAFA U-20 trophy

Uganda Hippos Head Coach Morley Byekwaso speaks during the pre-match press confrence ahead of the Hippos encounter against Eritrea | FUFA media

CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup: Uganda U-20 Vs Eritrea U-20

Pecce War Memorial Stadium – 4 PM

Uganda U-20 side, The Hippos kick start their defence of the CECAFA U-20 Challenge Cup, on Saturday 21st, September at the Pecce stadium, Gulu.

Hippos first opponents of the tournament will be Eritrea what will be the second game of the tournament at 4pm.

Eritrea were the losing finalists in 2010 when Uganda conquered them at their own background to win their third CECAFA U-20 trophy.

The game ended 1-1 in normal time, before the Hippos finally emerged over Eritrea 5-3 in a tensely contested penalty shootout.

And head coach Morley Byekwaso has hinted on the importance of the first game to the Hippos as they seek to defend their trophy.

Morley told, that the first game will go along way in giving the team momentum as they go further into the tournament.  

“There are six hurdles we have to skip in this tournament. You can’t get to the next one in case you fail to skip the first one,” Byekwaso told football-256.

“Right now, we are eyeing positive results in our opener, so that we can get the motivation to push further in the next games.” He added.

However, the Hippos coach warned against complacence, stating that they should not undermine their opponents despite the advantage.

Uganda Hippos during a training session at the Daniel Comboni Vocational Training Institute, Gulu | FUFA media

The Hippos will be without Proline FC attacking midfielder Bright Anukani who has travelled with the Senior Cranes team for the CHAN qualifier against Burundi. The midfielder will be available for the team’s second game.

But Byekwaso still has established youngsters like KCCA’s Steven SSerwadda, Wakiso Giants’ Hassan Ssenyonjo and Vipers Junior Team’s Ivan Asaba to fill the void.

FUFA Junior league top scorer Sadat Anaku is also available and the KCCA man is expected to lead the charge upfront.

The Hippos Full squad

Goal Keepers: Jack Komakech (Football for Good), Dennis Otim (Mbarara FC) & Patrick Mubiru (Bright stars)

Defenders: Kevin Ssekimbegga (Express FC), Justine Opiro(KCCA JT), Aziz Kayondo (Vipers SC), Robert Kitabalwa (St Mary’s Kitende), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Semakula (Busoga United), Derrick Kigundu (Buddo SS),

Midfielders: Joseph Kafumbe (KCCA FC), Davis Ssekajja (B Stars), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Steven Sserwadda (KCCA FC)

Forwards: Sadat Anaku (KCCA FC), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United), Ivan Bogere (Proline FC), Ivan Asaba (St Mary’s Kitende), Sadam Maseruka (Bul FC), Najib Yiga (Vipers Junior Team)

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