LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – This year’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations final will be a David vs Goliath affair as three-time champions Ghana will take on Uganda after they defeated Gambia and Tunisia in their respective semi-finals on Monday.
Uganda is appearing in the U-20 finals for the first time.
Former champions Ghana beat the Gambia by a solitary goal in the first semi-final at the Stade Olympique in the capital Nouakchott.
Percious Boah scored the game’s only goal through a free-kick shortly after the half-hour mark.
The game was a rematch of the final Group C match between the two sides earlier in the tournament which the Gambia won 2-1.
The second semi-final proved to be a more entertaining affair as debutants Uganda thumped Tunisia 4-1 at the same venue.
Derrick Kakooza netted a hat-trick as the Uganda Hippos outplayed their North African counterparts to earn a ticket to the final in their maiden appearance in the competition.
Richard Basangwa broke the deadlock after just four minutes after some excellent ball control took him past a Tunisian defender and he fired a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Elias Damergy.
Uganda’s players were faster, more powerful and looked full of confidence compared to Tunisia and their efforts were rewarded again in the 36th minute when Kakooza tapped the ball into the net from a low cross by Basangwa.
However, Tunisia, against the run of play, pulled a goal back just three minutes later through Adam Ben Lamin who bundled home from close range after Uganda failed to clear a dangerous corner.
Kakooza restored Uganda’s two-goal lead five minutes after the restart after he peeled off Tunisia’s last defenders to loop a header over Damergy.
Kakooza then sealed his hat-trick, the first one of this competition, when he raced clear and fired a shot which somehow squeezed past Damergy to make it 4-1 in the 73rd minute.
Kakooza’s hat-trick took him to the top of the goal scoring charts with five, two ahead of Boah.
Sunday’s final will take place at the same venue in Nouakchott a day after Gambia and Tunisia contest the third/fourth place playoff at the Stade Cheikha Ould Boïdiya.