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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Inspired comeback sees Ethiopia overtake Uganda to win CECAFA Women’s U-20 Championship

Playing against hosts Uganda, all odds were against the Ethiopia Under-20 women’s national team once goalkeeper Lorato Eyerusalem was sent off only six minutes into their encounter and after the concession of two first half goals. However, Ethiopia clawed back and showed great resilience to come back with a brilliant second half performance and score three unanswered goals to seal the win and the crown of top team at the 2021 CECAFA U-20 Women’s Championship on Tuesday.

A 26th minute strike opened the scoring for Uganda after Ethiopia keeper Eyerusalem received an early red card due to denying a clear goal scoring opportunity when she took down a Ugandan attacker. It seemed like all hope was lost when Uganda doubled their lead only a few minutes before halftime when a free kick saw Ethiopia’s backup keeper, Demelash Banchayehu, get in front of the shot but fail to locate the ball as it went into the air before the backspin caused it to bounce over Banchayehu and into the goal.

However, only a few minutes into the second half, Ridet Assrasahang brought Ethiopia to within one by looping her finish over advancing Uganda keeper Daphine Nyayenga. The dream victory was within reach for the Ethiopian women when a composed buildup set up Ariet Odong for a clear shooting opportunity that saw her shoot past Nyayenga for the equalizer in the 79th minute. The team was clearly inspired and in full belief after the leveler, and only a few minutes later in the 83rd minute a low cross found Turist Lema who calmly slotted past Nyayenga to complete the amazing turnaround.

In a competition that was done in a round robin format, it happened that the two undefeated teams met on the final day, turning the match into a de facto final. A match report is in the link below from CAF Online, and highlights are below as well.