Mayanja rues missed chances

AFCON U20 Mayanja rues missed chances

Shafic Kiyaga 10:45 - 24.02.2023

Mayanja was disappointed with his team's performance, saying, "The game didn't go as planned because the players didn't stick to our strategy.”

Uganda Hippos coach, Jackson Mayanja, expressed frustration with his team's draw against Congo in Group B of the TotalEnergies U20 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt, saying ‘Congo were lucky’.

The meeting between the two produced a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismailia on Thursday night, with Uganda victims of lethargic finishing.

Although the Hippos had come from behind to lead 2-1 at halftime, they couldn't hold on to their lead conceding in the last twenty minutes of the game.

Titus Ssematimba and Saidi Mayanja scored for Uganda on either side of Loulendo's opener and Princide Mombouli's equalizer.

Mayanja was disappointed with his team's performance, saying, "The game didn't go as planned because the players didn't stick to our strategy.”

“We missed several chances, many chances were wasted so there's nothing to say, Congo is a lucky team.”

Uganda found themselves in early trouble five minutes into the game when Loulendo powered in his header from Prince Soussou’s corner.

The goal arrived less than 120 seconds after John Paul Dembe missed a glorious opportunity to put the Hippos ahead after he was played through by captain Isma Mugulusi.

Uganda pulled level six minutes later, Ssematimba benefiting from a goalkeeping error by Christophe Wamba who dropped Rogers Mugisha’s low free-kick into his path.

The Hippos completed a quick turnaround in the 33rd minute, as Mayanja seized the opportunity to score the second goal.

Uganda carried the lead and numerical advantage into the halftime break. Mayanja’s side had a firmer grip on the game after it restarted, but struggled to convert this into decent chances.

Dembe shot wide. Mugisha failed to work the goalkeeper before Mugulusi shot wide from the rebound despite the assistant’s flag going up shortly after.

Congo eventually grabbed their equaliser in the 72nd minute, when Mombouli was left free from a corner kick before heading in the leveler.

Despite the result, Mayanja believed that his team had the chances to win the game. "We would have won the game if we had scored those missed chances.”

“Although there were some mistakes with those two goals they were not very good goals to concede but I still believe the chances we got would have killed the game.”

"I always say that when you score three and I score five I'm the winner, so the problem was if we had killed this game by scoring those goals we would have won.”

Even with this result, the Hippos – now on four points – can qualify for the quarter-finals if they can avoid defeat against neighbours South Sudan on Sunday.

Congo – also on four points – plays the Central African Republic on the same day. CAR has already been eliminated from the tournament following its defeat to South Sudan.