Ghana’s Black Satellites beat their Ugandan counterparts in the final of the 2021 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Stade Olympique in Nouakchott hosted the two teams in Saturday’s final.
The Black Satellites went into the game in search of not just what will be the 4th title at this stage but also serve as a perfect independence Day gift for Ghanaians.
Coach Karim Zito had made a solemn promise to Ghanaians during his pre-match press conference and he ensured that happened against tournament new boys Ugandans who per pedigree had exceeded expectations before Saturday’s encounter.
Ghana had hope, belief, and history backing them, but Uganda had momentum and Derrick Kakooza to lead their charge for a first AFCON title.
The tournament’s top scorer will be rendered quiet and tamed as the Ugandans momentum dissipated in the first half after a brilliant start by the Ghanaians.
The early exchanges looked a tight one but Ghana got their noses in front when the captain of the side, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh registered the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute. The Hearts of Oak attacker scored with the assist from Issahaku Fatawu.
The goal gave Ghana an edge over their opponents and the Black Satellites cleverly managed a 1 nil lead at the break.
Back from recess, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh showed he was in the mood to be Uganda’s party looper when he netted the second goal of the game.
It eventually extinguished any hope of a comeback for the East Africans who could do little to help their situation against a determined and well-drilled Ghana side.
The clock ticked towards 90 minutes and the signals became evident that Ghana would walk home with a 4th U-20 AFCON trophy and a first since 2009.
The feat sees Ghana draw level with Egypt as the second most successful team in the competition trailing record-holders Nigeria by 3.
Ghana is often seen as one of the torch-bearers of African football and on a day the nation celebrates its 64th Independence Day Anniversary, the Black Satellites have delivered a football trophy to the football nation.
Certainly, there could not have been a better climax to the showpiece by Coach Karim Zito and his boys who defied critics to prove their worth at this stage.