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AFCON U-20 Qualifying: Uganda defeat South Sudan to win CECAFA zonal qualifying final

Uganda successfully defended their CECAFA U-20 Championship title on Friday, defeating South Sudan 2-1 to confirm their dominance of the East African region at the Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman, Sudan. The Hippos stormed back from an early deficit with goals from Issa Bugembe and Titus Ssematimba to overcome their neighbors from the North for a record fifth regional title. Both teams confirmed their places at the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt with semifinal victories earlier this week at the tournament that also served as the CECAFA region’s qualifying competition for the under-20 African showcase.

A dream 2022 for South Sudanese youth national teams continued on Friday when the Bright Starlets took the lead in the 15th minute. Quick buildup play led to space on the left wing for a cross that found a wide open Felix Abishai, who was left with a simple finish from close range past Uganda goalkeeper Abdu Magada.

The Hippos struck back without wasting too much time. Bugembe powerfully drove by a couple of South Sudanese defender before lashing a low shot just inside the far post from twenty yards out to level the match in the 22nd minute. Uganda confirmed themselves as the winners near the hour mark with an outstanding team goal that started with goalkeeper Magada and ended with a simple close range finish from Ssematimba.

Highlights of the final are below.

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