By Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr
In Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
South Sudan have booked a semi final place at the on-going regional CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The South Sudan team that lost their opening Pool C match to Kenya 2-0 made sure they netted two goals against Djibouti in a match played on Saturday.
Mabior Akeck Aluk netted the first goal for South Sudan after 87 minutes, and Dominic Angelo Kornelio converted a penalty at the stroke of full time.
The second game saw Tanzania squeeze through to the knockout stage after holding Uganda to a 1-1. Uganda’s Steven Sese Mukwala had his penalty saved early in the game, but he made amends scoring to level matters in the second half.
Sospeter Isreal Bajana had given Tanzania the lead in the first half after he converted a penalty. The Tanzania team only arrived in Bahir Dar on July 21st and played a match against guest side Democratic Republic of Congo the same day to win 1-0.
Kim Poulsen, the Tanzania coach said that he is delighted with the way his team played their hearts out. “It was not easy against a good Ugandan team. But we are happy to be in the semi final and we need to prepare well for the knockout stage,” added Poulsen.
“I am delighted that we are through to the semi final after a very tough game against Uganda,” said Tanzania’s head coach Kim Poulsen.
Uganda’s coach Morley Byekwaso who guided Uganda to finish second in the AFCON U-20 Championship this year said that the penalty miss had brought Tanzania back into the game. “Although we have failed to make it to the next stage, I am happy that the boys managed to express themselves well,” added Byekwaso.
Tanzania will now face South Sudan in the first semi final clash on July 27th, while Burundi face Kenya the next day.
Apart from Djibouti which was placed 9th after the group stage by the tournament’s technical committee, the other teams Ethiopi, Uganda, DR Congo and Eritrea will play classification matches.
Mossi Yusuf, the CECAFA Competitions Director said they are happy with the level of standard of play in the tournament. “This tournament is helping the young players who will in future make the senior national teams,” added the CECAFA official.