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Ghana beats Uganda to lift fourth U20 AFCON title

A brace from Daniel Afriyie was what Ghana needed to defeat Uganda in the Africa U20 Cup of Nations final at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Saturday night.

It was the debutants who settled fast and had a massive opportunity to score the opening goal after just three minutes. He received a long ball, held off Frank Assinki but with the goalkeeper to beat he blasted the ball over.

In the 11th minute, the East Africans survived a scare as their opponents struck the woodwork twice from a corner.

The Ghanaians looked hungry for an opening goal and attacked with every opportunity they got. On the other hand, the Ugandans gave as much as they received hoping they would get their opponents on counter attack.

In the 17th minute, the former champions won a free-kick in a good area. Uzair Alhassan took it but goalkeeper Jack Komakech had no problem collecting the ball.

The Satellites took the lead after 21 minutes when Afriyie beat Kenneth Ssemakula to the ball from a corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

The Hippos had a chance to equalise when their opponents conceded a free-kick from 25 yards. Isma Mugulusi took it but it went just as far as the wall.

In the 50th minute, Ghana doubled their advantage. Striker Percious Boah outpaced the Hippos defenders before setting up the advancing Afriyie who wasted no time in completing his brace.

It was a goal that eased the pressure for the Ghanains as Uganda looked frustrated after conceding.

It is the fourth title for the Satellites. In 1993, they won their first title after beating Cameroon in the final. Hosts of the 1999 edition, the Satellites handed Nigeria a 1-0 defeat in the final. 

In 2009, Ghana, having won the sub-regional Wafu Zone B Cup, beat Cameroon once again to lift the trophy before going on to rule the world. 

By Seth Willis

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